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Palestinians choose Abbas, renewed talks with Israel


Abbas
 (The Spokesman-Review)
Abbas (The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Mahmoud Abbas was elected Palestinian Authority president by a wide margin Sunday, exit polls showed, giving him a decisive mandate to renew peace talks with Israel, rein in militants and try to end more than four years of Mideast bloodshed.

The victory of Abbas, who has spoken out against violence and has the backing of the international community, was expected to usher in a new era, after four decades of chaotic and corruption-riddled rule by Yasser Arafat who died Nov. 11.

Abbas has promised to reform the Palestinian Authority, overhaul the unwieldy Palestinian security services and quickly resume negotiations with Israel, stalled for four years.

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