Palestinian Fatah accepts Egypt proposal in Hamas talks

Egypt is trying to reconcile Fatah and Hamas.

Palestinian Fatah accepts Egypt proposal in Hamas talks

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction on Monday said it had accepted an Egyptian proposal in unity talks with Hamas and would delay presidential and parliamentary elections due in January.

Egypt is trying to reconcile Fatah and Hamas and last week proposed holding elections during the first half of 2010 to allow more time to work out a power-sharing deal between the two groups.

Presidential and parliamentary elections are slated for Jan. 25 but it remains unclear how they could take place with the Palestinian population split in two territories run by different administrations.

"We have decided to accept the Egyptian proposal, including holding the elections during the first half of next year and no later than this date," said Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, the group's executive body.

Fatah made the announcement early on Monday after its Central Committee convened a late-night meeting on Sunday chaired by Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Fatah officials said that Hamas had told Fatah during past round of talks that it prefers an extended delay to elections.

Nabil Shaath, another Fatah official, said that the group did not mind a delay but "there should be a specific date and not to leave the matter open as if we do then it could be postponed again".

Hamas has said it would state its position regarding the Egyptian proposal after the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr due next week.

The Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee had already submitted the response to Egypt, Aahmad Majdalani, a PLO member, told Reuters.

The Egyptian proposal stipulates that most Hamas political activists jailed by Fatah-led forces in the West Bank and Fatah men held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip would be released after a deal is reached. Hamas wants its men freed before an accord.


Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Eylül 2009, 16:25
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