France voices support to Palestinian reconciliation

Ahead of the a much-anticipated meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshal in Cairo next week, European heavyweight France announced Friday its support to reconciliation between the two rivals. France always supports unity and cooperation between Palestinians, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a press briefing here. The French official reiterated his country’s firm stance towards the importance of Palestinians’ unity, adding that the reconciliation is a necessity and will have great impact on Palestinian people. On Wednesday President Abbas pledged to “speed up” the formation of an interim government, which until now has stymied efforts to implement a unity deal signed by his Fatah movement and its Hamas rivals, who rule the Gaza Strip. Moves to set up a unity government ahead of new elections will be central to key talks between Abbas and exiled Hamas leader Meshaal when they meet in Cairo next week. Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said the two factions had reached agreement on “important issues” which would be announced after the leaders meet on November 25. Fatah signed an unexpected reconciliation deal with Hamas in May under which they were to have quickly set up a caretaker government of independent figures to prepare for elections within a year. But the agreement has never been implemented, with both sides bickering over the composition of the interim government and who should head it. The last time the Palestinians went to the polls was for parliamentary elections in 2006, which Hamas won by a landslide. New parliamentary and presidential elections had been due in January 2010 but the Palestinian Authority abandoned efforts to hold a vote after Hamas refused to organize one in Gaza

(mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 18.11.2011)

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