Abbas calls for vote, Haniyeh wants emergency talks

Published  15/03/2011 21:04

Abbas and Haniyeh attend the first meeting of the Palestinian unity government,
in Gaza City March 18, 2007. [MaanImages/Wesam Saleh]

RAMALLAH (Ma’an/AFP) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday proposed holding elections “as soon as possible” in order to end the divide within the national movement.

“I am with the people and in favor of going back to the people to put an end to the divisions through presidential and parliamentary elections,” he said after talks with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s response to the protests was to invite Abbas for “immediate” talks to mend the bitter divide between their two movements.

“I invite the president, brother Abu Mazen (Abbas), and Fatah to an immediate meeting here in Gaza or in any location which we agree upon, to start national dialogue in order to achieve reconciliation,” Haniyeh said in a live broadcast.

Haniyeh blamed division on “external interference and the lack of political will of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank,” he said Hamas did “not want division,” but was ready once again to talk with Fatah.

As an estimated 300,000 protested in Gaza City, and another 3,000 gathered in Ramallah, all demanding an end to the political division, appointed West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad headed a meeting to discuss unity options.

Fayyad is expected to propose a new PA cabinet to Abbas on Monday. Initial reports suggested that the cabinet could include Hamas members, but were never confirmed.

The PA media office said Fayyad and the resigned PA cabinet held a meeting in Ramallah, where they welcomed protests “as a means of ending the occupation and achieving national readiness for statehood.”

The statement said the resigned cabinet urged young Palestinians to direct efforts to the international community, and ask nations to apply international law to the situation in Palestine.

Maan News Agency: Abbas calls for vote, Haniyeh wants emergency talks.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: