PFLP chief: Syria offices remain open

MAAN NEWS AGENCY MARCH 3 2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in exile says the faction has no plans to shutter its offices in Damascus, despite unrest in Syria.

Maher al-Taher said Saturday the leftist faction’s offices in the Syrian capital are operating as usual and that he will return to Damascus after Gaza, where he arrived last week marking his first visit to the coastal enclave.

Al-Taher says he wishes Syria and its people will soon enjoy stability and security.

The larger Palestinian group Hamas, which has been based in Damascus, began moving officials out of Syria last year. A top Hamas official in Gaza last week openly sided with the Syrian opposition.

Asked about his recent visit to Gaza, al-Taher asserted that it had nothing to do with developments in Syria. He explained that he took the first opportunity to visit Gaza and meet with representatives of factions there.

“I regret that I couldn’t pay that visit earlier, and I urge all faction leaders to visit Gaza.”

The official said the PFLP was moving forward on preparations for its seventh general congress. Leaders have held meetings both in Palestine and abroad, al-Taher said.

On the internal Palestinian situation, he urged all factions to work out a united strategy.

“It is unacceptable that factions’ performance be improvised based on reactions to daily developments, because such an anticipative policy is useless,” al-Taher said.

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