Abbas: Unity government next week

Palestinian president hints at breakthrough in talks with Hamas over new government.

    Abbas, right, and Haniya agreed a month ago to forge a coalition government [Reuters]

    After Saudi mediation, Hamas and Abbas's Fatah group agreed a month ago to forge a coalition cabinet in a bid to halt weeks of bloody factional fighting that cost more than 90 lives.

     

    'True national unity'

     

    Disputes between Fatah and Hamas over the posts of interior minister and deputy prime minister appear to have been resolved.

     

    Your Views

    "The Palestinian people are in desperate need of leaders to solve their daily problems and security"

    Mishmish, Egypt

    Send us your views

    An official close to the talks said Haniya would pick one of two candidates approved by Abbas for the interior ministry.

     

    Abbas indicated that parliament could convene for a confidence vote in the new government the week after next.

       

    "We hope that this will be an era of true national unity," he said. "The homeland is for all parties. The people have suffered a lot and we should alleviate their suffering."

       

    Once the unity cabinet is formed, Abbas wants international donors to lift a crippling diplomatic and financial boycott imposed on the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas won elections and came to power a year ago.

     

    Demands rejected

     

    Hamas has rejected demands by the 'Quartet' of Middle East mediators - the US, EU, Russia and the UN - to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept existing interim peace accords.

       

    Foreign donors have been channelling money directly to Abbas's office, bypassing the Hamas-led government.

     

    Israel also released some tax revenue to Abbas.

     

    Western diplomats say some of the money had gone to pay salaries to government workers, possibly including Hamas members and supporters on the Palestinian Authority's payroll.

     

    "We have heard the rumours (on how the money has been used). The prime minister will ask Abu Mazen when they meet early next week," Olmert's spokeswoman Eisen said, using the Palestinian president's nickname.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons