President meets with Mubarak in Cairo, discusses obstacles facing government
CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip as early as Monday to try to revive stalled talks on a unity government, aides said. President Abbas will go to Gaza Monday or Tuesday to pursue efforts to form a unity government, senior Abbas aide Saeb Erekat told Reuters on Sunday. He will tell Hamas, If you want a unity government, there are international requirements that need to be met, and that s the only way to form a unity government, Erekat said.
Haniya confirmed the planned meeting, saying he remained hopeful that a national unity government would be formed. We will resume talks on the national unity government this week. I hope the talks will succeed and we will continue to make joint political efforts with Fatah, he told reporters outside his office in the Gaza City.
Palestinian efforts to forge a national unity government are back at point zero, Abbas had said on Saturday. Speaking to reporters after talks in Cairo with President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Abbas accused the Islamist group Hamas of reneging on agreements with Fatah. Unfortunately after this agreement was signed there were regressions from it … and unfortunately we are back to point zero, and we will examine the issue anew, Abbas said. Abbas has been negotiating a unity government between his Fatah movement and the Islamic militant group Hamas, which took power in March after a sweeping election victory, leading the West to cut off most Palestinian aid. A deal on a unity government was reached on Sept. 11 and talks on the coalition s formation have faltered since. Abbas said the U.S. and European states in the UN Security Council did not find Hamas position conducive to building a national unity government . But Mushir Al-Masri, a senior Hamas lawmaker, told Reuters in Gaza that any differences between the parties aired in the media can be resolved at the negotiating table and in direct dialogue. Al-Masri also rejected the conditions laid down by the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators: recognition of Israel, renouncing violence and accepting previous signed agreements with Israel. What is important is the Palestinian-Palestinian agreement and not satisfying American demands, Al-Masri said. Abbas said Thursday s attempt by the Arab League to get the Security Council involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not intended to seek a new decision by the Council, but an effort to have the U.S.-led road map for Middle East peace implemented. We went to focus on implementing this decision, because we believe the road map plan is sufficient, if it is taken seriously, Abbas said. The road map is a U.S.-sponsored peace plan drawn up in 2003, based on a two-state solution to the conflict. Abbas said the Palestinians would accept nothing less than pre-1967 borders for a Palestinian state, nor would they accept temporary borders. Agenci