Former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei arrived in Syria on Sunday for talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Qurei told reporters upon his arrival that he was visiting in the context of "continued consultations with Syria and President Assad on the Palestinian situation," and on developments towards forming a Palestinian national unity government. The Fatah official said that negotiations with Hamas on the formation of the new government had made significant progress. Both factions have agreed on "portfolios, the characteristics of the ministers and the ministers' selection criteria," Qurei said. Qurei hailed Syria's role in the current negotiation among Palestinian factions as "constructive and supportive."