'Hamas will demand key positions in unity gov't'

'Al-Ahram' reports that in Cairo meeting with Abbas, Mashaal will demand that Hamas control main ministries, provide deputy PM.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 23, 2012 12:25
1 minute read.
Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas.

Mashaal with Abbas 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Hamas will demand that members of its organization fill key roles in the unity government with Fatah if it is to agree to allow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to serve as the interim government's prime minister, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Thursday.

According to the report, Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mahsaal will present his conditions to Abbas at a meeting between the two leaders in Cairo on Thursday.

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Al-Ahram quoted Palestinian sources as saying Hamas would demand that one of its members serve as deputy prime minister in the unity government and that Hamas control the government's interior, justice and finance ministries.

The sources said that Abbas was expected to refuse the Hamas demands and insist that the sensitive posts in the new government be filled by more internationally accepted figures.

Abbas on Wednesday began a three-day visit to Cairo where he is scheduled to hold talks with Mashaal and representatives of several Palestinian groups on the formation of the Palestinian unity government and the implementation of the Qatar-brokered reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas.

Abbas is also expected to meet with Egypt’s de facto head of state, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

On the eve of the Abbas-Mashaal meeting, Hamas announced that its leaders have agreed to end their differences over the Qatari-brokered reconciliation pact.

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Hamas’s political bureau announced, following a meeting in the Egyptian capital, its support for the reconciliation accord, Ezat Risheq, a senior Hamas official, said.

A dispute had erupted within Hamas over the Qatari-sponsored deal that Abbas and Mashaal signed in Doha on February 6.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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