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Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in Qatar on Friday that no progress has been made in forming a unity PA government with Hamas. Abbas added that his envoy on unity government affairs, Rouhi Fatouh, had left a meeting with Hamas representatives in Gaza with "empty hands" and returned to Ramallah.
Abbas also said that while he would be willing to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and would set no preconditions, any such meeting would have to be preceded by a thorough preparatory session. However, he denied reports of a Qatari-prompted meeting with Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal. Abbas said that he had not met with Mashaal, but might if "there were need," Israel Radio reported.
Qatar is trying to wiggle in on diplomatic action
Musa Abu Marzook, Mashaal's deputy, told the London-based Al-Hayat that Abbas has refused to meet with Mashaal until the latter agreed to comply with Quartet demands.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit called for the Palestinians to accept a state delineated by the 1967 borders in order not to "miss an opportunity." Aboul Gheit told Asharq Alawsat that in 10 years, Palestinians might retain as little as 10 percent of their lands, but by then it would be "too late for regrets."
Aboul Gheit also asserted that the Palestinian people were not independent, but acted on the advice of "one capital or another," and blamed other nations for taking the Palestinians' decision-making ability away from them.
Egypt's foreign minister said that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was not dead, merely in a "temporary coma."