Hamas, Fatah to form unity gov't within 3 months

Palestinian factions agree on timeline for reconciliation after talks in Cairo that will continue until agreement is reached.

Abbas and Hamas leader (photo credit: Reuters)
Abbas and Hamas leader
(photo credit: Reuters)
Fatah and Hamas announced on Tuesday that they have agreed on a timeline of three months to achieve reconciliation between the two rival parties.
The announcement was made in Cairo following discussions between Fatah and Hamas representatives under the auspices of the Egyptian authorities.
This was not the first time that the two parties had announced an agreement to end their differences. Over the past few years, Fatah and Hamas have reached a number of such agreements that were never implemented.
Talks between the two sides were abruptly suspended earlier this year due to the wide gap between them. But the latest agreement says that Hamas and Fatah have agreed to end their differences within the next three months.
According to the agreement, Fatah and Hamas representatives will continue to hold discussions until they reach agreement on the formation of a new Palestinian government and set a date for elections for the presidency, the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Palestine National Council (the PLO’s parliament-in-exile).
The statement said that the new government would be headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as stipulated in the Doha Accord that was signed between the two parties last year.
The statement said that Abbas would issue a decree to form the proposed government and hold new elections within three months.
Hamas official Musa Abu Marzouk expressed hope that the two sides would be able to overcome their differences within the next three months.
He said that the discussions during the coming weeks would focus on passing a new electoral law for the Palestine National Council and the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Fatah team to the talks with Hamas, said that a number of joint committees would hold meetings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to overcome remaining obstacles.
Abbas is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on Thursday to discuss the new agreement and issues related to the Middle East peace process.