Palestinian FM expects deal on unity gov't by Mon.

November 6, 2006 20:30

The Palestinian Foreign Minister said he hoped a deal for a new Palestinian unity government could be reached Monday between his Hamas party and the more moderate Fatah. Mahmoud Zahar said he expected Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah to agree on a new premier during their meeting in the Gaza Strip, which began after nightfall Monday. "We have no objections on the government including ministers from Hamas, Fatah and other movements," Zahar told reporters in Egypt on Monday ahead of the meeting. Other Palestinian officials have said a deal was imminent but questioned whether it would be reached Monday. A top Hamas official in Damascus said that Haniyeh, the Hamas Premier, would not lead the new Palestinian national unity government. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas's exiled political leadership in Syria, told AP by phone that that Hamas "will give the name" of the new prime minister to be agreed on with Fatah later Monday.

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