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Palestinian Premier-Designate Calls For Talks To End Conflict With Israel

Palestinian Prime Minister-designate, Ismail Haniyah (file photo) (epa) March 27, 2006 -- Palestinian Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyah has called for dialogue with international mediators to try to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Haniyah, in a speech to Palestinian legislators today, said his future government is ready to work with the Middle East Quartet -- the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations -- to bring peace and stability to the region.

"Our government will be ready for a dialogue with the Quartet to look into all ways to end the struggle and achieve calm," Haniyah said. "Our people are in need more than any other nation for peace, for security, and stability. Our government will not spare any effort to achieve a just peace in the region."

The U.S. State Department reacted coolly to the offer. Spokesman Sean McCormack said Hamas would first need to meet international conditions. These include that it renounce violence and accept past agreements with Israel.

Haniyah and his cabinet are due to be sworn in on March 29.