Abbas to visit Iran for international conference

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Associated Press

Posted on July 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Jul 8 at 11:03 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A top Palestinian official says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted an invitation to attend a conference in Iran — a patron of his political nemesis, the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said Abbas will attend in late August a conference of member states of the Non-Aligned Movement, traditionally a strong backer of Palestinian statehood aspirations.

Abbas accepted the invitation in a rare meeting with Iran's assistant foreign minister in Jordan on Sunday.

In the past, Abbas has spoken out repeatedly against Iran's support for Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

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