Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is seeking to take over the presidency of the PLO,
currently chaired by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the
London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Monday.
According to the
report, Mashaal’s desire to chair the PLO is behind his decision not to stand
for reelection to his position as chairman of Hamas’s Political
Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted Palestinian sources as saying several
Arab states, led by Jordan and Qatar, are pushing for Mashaal to chair the PLO
as a way of getting Hamas to sign the Oslo Accords and recognize
The report added that Mashaal’s meeting with Jordanian King
Abdullah on Monday was part of the regional effort to spur the resumption of
peace talks which would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state within
the pre-1967 lines with agreed upon land swaps.
Abdullah was seeking a
commitment from Hamas to accept such an agreement.
Mashaal and other
Hamas leaders were expelled from Jordan and stripped of their Jordanian
citizenship more than a decade ago. But over the past 18 months, Jordan has
moved toward restoring its relations with Hamas, allowing Mashaal and some of
his top aides to visit the kingdom on at least three occasions.
rapprochement between Jordan and Hamas came after the Islamist movement pledged
to refrain from meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs.