Palestinian President Abbas Inclined to Put Off Unity Talks With Hamas

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Two Palestinian officials say President Mahmoud Abbas is inclined to put off talks on a unity government with rival Hamas until after a U.N. vote this fall on Palestinian statehood.

The officials say Abbas fears running into difficulties with the West over an alliance with the Islamic militant group. This suggests he may have underestimated international opposition when he reconciled with Hamas in May.

The Palestinian officials said Thursday that Abbas wants to focus for now on getting U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

Talks on a power-sharing government are already behind schedule. The main hurdle is naming a prime minister.