Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ismail Haneya: Hamas is committed to Mecca arrangement,

GAZA, Sept. 24 — Deposed Prime Minister of Hamas Ismail Haneya has expressed in a letter he sent to Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Ben Abdel Aziz that his Hamas movement is committed to 2007 Mecca agreement, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

Taher al-Noono told reporters that Haneya sent a letter this week “to King Abdullah expressing commitment to Mecca agreement asa base for solving the ongoing (Palestinian) internal crisis.”

In February 2007, rival Hamas and Fatah movement reached an agreement to form a national Palestinian unity government. A government was formed, but it was deposed after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force in June.

Following Hamas’ Gaza takeover, the Gaza Strip became under the rule of Hamas, while the West Bank remained under the rule of President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.

Fatah wants Hamas to be committed to the Yemeni reconciliation initiative, which calls for forming an independent Palestinian cabinet that prepares for holding early presidential and legislative elections.

Mecca agreement, which was signed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by both Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mesh’al, only calls for forming a national unity government and doesn’t refer to holding early elections in the Palestinian territories.

Egypt has been holding during September separate bilateral talks with 13 Palestinian factions, including leaders of rival Fatah and Hamas. Egypt examines their views on launching a comprehensive dialogued.

Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah movement leader, who held talks on Tuesday with senior Egyptian security officials said in a news conference in Cairo that the general dialogue will be held in Cairo on early November.

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