Palestinian parties walk out of unity talks in Cairo

Fatah delegation head tells eight factions they are not a part of PLO; factions include Popular Resistance Committees.

December 20, 2011 17:03
1 minute read.
Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas.

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


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At least eight Palestinian factions walked out of reconciliation talks in Cairo Tuesday after the Fatah delegation head told them they could not participate, a Palestinian source told Ma'an News Agency.

Azzam Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, told them they could not join in the Egypt-brokered sessions because they are not a part of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

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The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Ma'an that the factions that staged the walkout included the Popular Resistance Committees, the Liberty Party, Fatah al Intifada, As Saiqa and the Popular Struggle Front.

Some of those factions, including the PRC, are outspoken opponents of Fatah's more diplomatic approach to dealing with the Israeli government. Israel and the United States see the PRC as a terrorist group.

Fatah al Intifada broke away from Ahmed's Fatah party in 1983, and is no longer a part of the PLO.

Al Saiqa, a small Baathist Palestinian party under control by Syria, though once a major player in PLO politics no longer has any major impact in
either the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

Representatives from various Palestinian factions were meeting in Cairo Tuesday as part of a week of talks focusing on the formation of a Palestinian unity government and presidential elections in May 2012.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Wednesday following the factions meetings in Cairo to implement the Egypt-brokered reconciliation accord that was signed in the Egyptian capital last May.

Wednesday’s meeting, announced by Ahmed Monday, would be the third of its kind between Abbas and Mashaal since the beginning of the year. Despite the talk about progress toward implementing the reconciliation deal, Hamas and Fatah officials said that the gap between the two sides remains wide, especially over the formation of a new government.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report

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