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Abbas Pledges Palestinian Security Reforms


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has pledged to reform his security forces as part of a push to re-start the long-stalled peace process with Israel.

The pledge came Tuesday in London at an international Palestinian aid conference hosted by Britain. Mr. Abbas met with senior ministers from 23 nations to provide details of his plan to consolidate a dozen competing security agencies widely seen as inefficient and corrupt.

Israel has demanded the Palestinian reforms as a condition for renewing peace moves. Those demands are backed by the United States and the European Union. In an opening address,

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world's most pressing political challenge.

But he also said the governments represented at the conference are united in their commitment to help Israel and the Palestinians reach that goal.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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