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(photo credit: CNN [file])
PA government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said Tuesday that a meeting between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was cancelled due to "difficulties and differences of opinions" but he expressed confidence that negotiations would continue. "We will overcome the problems. We haven't hit a dead end," he said.
"I think we have a political agenda that is acceptable to the chairman and would be acceptable to Europe and the Arab states," Hamad expounded. "There is a problem accepting the Saudi initiative, but we will not prevent the chairman from formulating an agreement with Israel. We don't want to stand in his way," he added.
Abbas envoy to meet Hamas leaders
Hamad refused to answer when asked whether a situation may arise in which Hamas would reject an agreement between Abbas and Israel saying that "we are talking about a unity government in which we will sit together around one table and talk about everything. The power of veto is unacceptable to us."
"If we speak about our problems were will overcome them," said the PA government spokesman, adding that he did not believe Abbas would dissolve the PA Legislative Council to force new election in the PA.
With regards to captured IDF soldier Gilad Shlait's welfare, Hamad said, "I think Gilad Shalit is in good condition, but I don't know," adding, "I have not seen him nor have I seen anyone else who has seen him. Your Shin Bet knows better than me who is holding him."
"I have heard that he is alive and in good condition and also his father has received a sign of life. Nevertheless, I am not in contact with his captors," said Hamad before adding, "as a government minister, I can contribute to the contacts with Egypt in order to reach a solution."
Hamad expressed optimism on the possibility of Shalit's release, saying there "is scope" for reaching an agreement on the issue.
Earlier Tuesday, Hamad said that Hamas would recognize agreements that were previously signed with Israel in the framework of a new Palestinian Authority unity government but that the movement would not recognize the state of Israel.