Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he believes Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is capable of making peace with the Palestinians if he wins a third term in upcoming Israeli elections.
Speaking on Friday in Italy, where he is on a three-day visit, Mr. Abbas said the Palestinian Authority will work with whoever becomes Israel's next leader. Mr. Abbas also said he is determined to bring greater security to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and to continue along the path of democratic reforms. The Palestinian leader spoke after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome. Mr. Berlusconi offered his country's help in achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and he repeated an offer to host talks between the two parties. On Saturday, Pope Benedict will receive the Palestinian leader at the Vatican.