Abbas: No peace without national unity


April 2, 2011

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that there can be no real peace with Israel without national unity.

Abbas said he was determined to go to Gaza to form a national unity government, the official Palestinian Authority news agency reported.

His remarks came at a meeting with the families of prisoners who are protesting for an end to division between Fatah and Hamas.

Fatah and Hamas have been at loggerheads since 2007 when the Islamist movement took control of the Gaza Strip, routing Abbas loyalists. A process of reconciliation between the two is yet to yield any results.

Egypt’s military leadership will host Abbas next week in a bid to strengthen Cairo’s role as mediator between Fatah and Hamas, state news agency MENA said Saturday.

“Egypt is intensifying its efforts on the Palestinian issue, particularly on the subject of reconciling Hamas and Fatah and finding an end to division between them,” said MENA.

Egypt’s ambassador to the PA Yasser Othman told Ma’an the president was invited by Egypt’s foreign affairs minister Nabil Al-Arabi on behalf of the country’s de facto leader Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi.

Othman said Egypt supported Abbas’ initiative to visit the Gaza Strip and form a unity government to prepare for elections.

Egypt has been a long-standing mediator between the two factions as well as between Palestinians and Israelis.

AFP contributed to this report.

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