updated 3/30/2006 8:06:28 AM ET 2006-03-30T13:06:28

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday to congratulate him on his victory in the Israeli elections, Olmert’s office said.

Abbas called Olmert from South Africa, where he is on a trip meeting officials, the statement said. Abbas told Olmert he hoped he would be able to quickly build a ruling coalition, the statement said.

Olmert’s Kadima Party won the largest number of parliamentary seats in Tuesday’s election, but not enough to rule alone. The acting prime minister is now working to find government allies who will support his plan to draw Israel’s final borders by 2010, if necessary through unilateral West Bank pullouts.

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian lawmaker, confirmed that Abbas had spoken to Olmert. Abbas called on Olmert to “resume negotiations and to abandon the means of unilateralism,” Erekat said.

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