Photo: Reuters
Senior Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: AFP

Aide: Hamas shamed Abbas

Senior negotiator says Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel torpedoed Abbas efforts to form national unity government

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on either Monday or Tuesday to revive talks on forming a unity government between Fatah and Hamas.


"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.


The two rival parties have been exchanging accusations for the failure of talks.


On Saturday, Haniyeh wondered whether a solution to the Palestinian problem hinges on Hamas recognizing Israel, charging that progress will be made when Israel recognizes the Palestinian people's rights.


But on Sunday he said he remained hopeful a unity government would be established, brushing aside Abbas's assertion that talks were starting from scratch, Reuters reported.


"We will resume the consultations over the formation of a national unity government and I believe that we have gone a long way down the road (toward an agreement)," Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza. "There is a real hope that it will succeed."


Haniyeh warned over the weekend that he refuses to head a government that will recognize Israel, prompting Abbas to declare that unity government talks are dead.


Erekat said Abbas "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.'"


Reuters contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 09.24.06, 12:59
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