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Abbas asks France to lobby Hamas allies for Gaza truce

A handout picture released by the Palestinian president's office (PPO) shows Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas (R) meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ahead of a meeting in Cairo on July 18, 2014Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas reached out for French help Friday to lobby Hamas’s regional allies to influence it into accepting a truce with Israel, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. Egypt-mediated talks to end the escalating Gaza Strip war have faltered, with Hamas insisting on a comprehensive ceasefire that would end the Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave, Palestinian officials said. Abbas asked France to lobby Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey to pressure the militants into accepting the truce, Fabius told reporters after meeting the Palestinian leader in Cairo. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood from power last year, has sought to isolate Hamas allies and initially demanded that the militants unconditionally accept a truce to end the 11-day war, as Israel already had.

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