'Zahar: Talks on unity gov't have reached a standstill'

Hamas official says talks stalled over new gov't's leadership, 'ad-Dustour' reports; others in Hamas say it is too soon to "jump to conclusions."

Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking  (R) 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar on Tuesday said that efforts to establish a unity government with Fatah have reached a "standstill," the Jordanian newspaper ad-Dustour reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Zahar said talks on the unity government had stalled over the nomination of the new government's prime minister and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's refusal to submit a list of proposed appointees to the cabinet for the parliament to approve.
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Another Hamas official, Khalil Hayya, on Tuesday was quoted by Ma'an as saying that his organization was unaware of a meeting planned between movement leader Khaled Mashaal and Abbas in Cairo on Tuesday to finalize the unity government.
Hamas said the meeting was postponed indefinitely over the leadership dispute.
In an official statement quoted by Ma'an, Hayya reiterated that Hamas would not accept Salam Fayyad as prime minister of the unity government.
"It is necessary to find alternatives and there are many others to choose [from]," Hayya said in the statement.
Despite the Hamas-Fatah dispute, the Hamas official stated that the unity deal between the two factions had not collapsed.
Contrary to Zahar's comments, Hayya said, "It is inappropriate to jump to a conclusion and say that reconciliation efforts have reached an impasse, or that they are frozen."