Hamas, Fatah yet to agree on PM of Palestinian gov't

Two sides reach agreement on release of political detainees held in West Bank and Gaza prisons; Abbas and Mashaal to meet, decide on PM.

Palestinian Unity Egypt 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Unity Egypt 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas said on Wednesday that its representatives still haven’t reached agreement with Fatah over the identity of the prime minister who would head a Palestinian unity government.
The announcement came one day after the two rival sides said that they have agreed on the make-up of the proposed unity government.
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Hamas and Fatah negotiators who met in Cairo this week said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal have been invited to Cairo next Tuesday to declare the establishment of the new government.
Quoting informed Egyptian sources, the Al-Jazeera TV network claimed that the two parties agreed on who would head the unity government and that his identity would be made public next week.
However, Hamas representative Salah Bardaweel said that although the Cairo discussions were conducted in a “cordial and positive atmosphere,” the two sides have yet to agree on the identity of the future prime minister.
Bardaweel said that Hamas has informed Fatah of its fierce opposition to the nomination of current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
“We told them that we are strongly opposed to Fayyad,” Bardaweel said. “The Fatah negotiators were convinced by our explanations and it was agreed to leave the issue until next week’s meeting between Abbas and Mashaal.”
Bardaweel pointed out, however, that the two sides have reached agreement over the release of political detainees held in each others prisons in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hamas and Fatah also agreed to solve the problem of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who are unable to travel because of the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to issue them passports.