donderdag 24 november 2011

Abbas and Meshaal 'remove differences' between them

 Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, on Thursday hailed a new era of partnership between their two movements at talks in Cairo, AFP reports. It was  the first face-to-face talks they held since a reconciliation agreement was signed in May. But there was little indication as to whether they had made any concrete progress in resolving some of the disputed issues which since have blocked the implementation of this agreement. 
Meshaal and Abbas in Cairo, 24.11.11
Speaking to reporters after two  hours of talks, the two leaders said they had managed to iron out their differences and turn a new page."We want to assure our people and the Arab and Islamic world that we have turned a major new and real page in partnership on everything to do with the Palestinian nation," Meshaal said. "There are no more differences between us now," added Abbas. "We have agreed to work as partners with joint responsibility."

During the meeting, Abbas and Meshaal approved a two-page document in which they reiterated their commitment to the main elements of the original deal, saying they would establish a joint government after elections which would be held in May. They pledged to resolve the issue of political prisoners held by each side "within days" and said they would put together a temporary cabinet of independents, which would be agreed on by the factions at a meeting next month. "There will be a meeting in Cairo on December 20 of the PLO leadership and that of all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to restructure the leadership and the various bodies of the PLO," Damascus-based Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishq said.
Two days later, the 13 factions who signed the May agreement would meet "to form a new government which will organise the elections," he said.

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