(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that he was working toward establishing a government of technocrats and not a joint Fatah-Hamas cabinet.
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The new government would consist of independent figures who are not affiliated with any political factions, Abbas said after meeting in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, he said.
“The Israelis, and sometimes the Americans, have misunderstood the upcoming government,” Abbas said. “They mistakenly think that it’s a Hamas government. This is not a Hamas or Fatah government. This is my government and it will follow my strategy and policy.”
On Sunday night Abbas met with Jordan’s prime minister Marouf al-Bakhit
and discussed with him the repercussions of US President Barack Obama’s
recent statements regarding the Middle East peace process.
Following the meeting, Abbas defended his decision to sign an Egyptianbrokered reconciliation accord with Hamas.
“Hamas is part of Palestinian society,” he said. “It’s a Palestinian
movement that practices its role as an opposition party in line with
Abbas said that the Palestinians were not seeking to isolate Israel by
asking for UN recognition of a Palestinian state in September. Rather,
the Palestinians want the UN to recognize Palestine as a state under
“We want to go to the UN to declare our right to live alongside Israel
and not to remove it,” Abbas said. He also stressed the significance of
Israeli recognition of the principle of the “right of return” for
Palestinian refugees to their original homes.
Abbas is expected to convene PLO and Fatah officials for an emergency
meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments
surrounding Obama’s statements.
Arab League foreign ministers are also expected to hold an urgent
meeting in Qatar on Saturday to discuss the same issue. The meeting is
being held at the request of the PA leadership, which is seeking a
unified Arab response to Obama’s remarks.