Abbas, Mashaal, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in his office Monday with
Hamas representatives in the West Bank and discussed with them efforts to form a
Palestinian unity government.
The meeting came as Abbas prepared to hold
talks in Cairo later this week on the same subject with Hamas leader Khaled
A PA official said that Abbas briefed the Hamas representatives
on the recent Qatari-brokered reconciliation accord between his Fatah faction
Abbas affirmed the need to speed up efforts to achieve
reconciliation between the two sides and reach agreement on the formation of a
unity government, the official said.
The Qatari-brokered deal calls for
the formation of a unity government that would be headed by Abbas to prepare for
new presidential and parliamentary elections and rebuild the Gaza
Earlier this week, Abbas announced that the proposed unity
government, which would be dominated by technocrats, would abide by his and the
PLO’s political agenda and would honor all previous agreements signed with
However, Hamas denied that the new unity government would have a
political agenda. Hamas officials said that although the government would be
headed by Abbas, it would not deal with political issues such as peace talks
with Israel. They also reiterated their opposition to all agreements signed
between the PLO and Israel, including the Oslo Accords.
meeting in Ramallah, Abbas told the Hamas representatives that recent
Israeli-Palestinian “exploratory” talks in Jordan failed because of Israel’s
refusal to freeze settlement construction and accept the pre-1967 lines as the
borders of a future Palestinian state.
Also Monday, Abbas told a top
Chinese government official who arrived in Ramallah that Israeli “intransigence”
was behind the failure of the peace process.
Abbas said that the
Palestinians remained committed to the peace process on the basis of all UN
resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Abbas said that
reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas was a top priority for the Palestinians,
adding that he was determined to end the state of division among Palestinians.