DAMASCUS, Syria – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas' exiled chief failed on Sunday to resolve an increasingly bitter dispute and form a unity government.
But Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said the two sides "achieved major progress" during their meeting — the first since July 2005 — and hoped to continue talks on forming a coalition government within the next two weeks, according to a joint statement.
"There are still points of disagreement, but we will try to resolve them through a national dialogue until we form a national unity government," Mashaal said during a press conference with Abbas in the Syrian capital.
The two sides stressed that recent Palestinian infighting, which has killed at least 62 people, was unacceptable and pledged to exert efforts to avoid political friction.
"We stress that dialogue is the only language allowed for solving our differences. ... It is not normal to fight," Mashaal said.