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PFLP and DFLP urge Abbas to preserve the Cairo declaration, honour the call for PLO reform

July 20, 2007 10:43 P.M. (Updated: July 20, 2007 10:43 P.M.)
Khan Younis - Ma'an - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) have both urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to refrain from annulling the Cairo declaration of March 2005, which called for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to be reformed "to include all the Palestinian powers and factions."

In his opening speech to the PLO central council on Wednesday, President Abbas called for all agreements with his rivals, Hamas, whom he described as "mutineers," to be rescinded.

The PFLP and DFLP warned that revoking the Cairo declaration, and other declarations stressing national unity and political partnership, would lead to greater internal splits and conflicts.

The Cairo declaration, which was signed by 12 different Palestinian factions, including Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP and DFLP, called for reform of the PLO "to include all the Palestinian powers and factions," reaffirming that it is "the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

Recalling this, the DFLP stressed that the Cairo declaration is relevant to all the Palestinian people.

The 2005 declaration also highlighted the importance of dialogue between parties, saying that it is "the sole means of interaction among all the factions, as a support to national unity and the unity of the Palestinian ranks."

The signatories - which included Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas, headed by Khalid Mash'al - also said, "They were unanimous in forbidding the use of weapons in internal disputes."

In a statement this week, the PFLP called for early elections as the only way to restore Palestinian national harmony. The DFLP stressed that the elections should be comprehensive, including municipality elections and popular organisations elections, in addition to PLO internal elections.

This is in line with the Cairo declaration, which said, "Those gathered [.] agreed on the necessity of completing total reform in all areas, of supporting the democratic process in its various aspects and of holding local and legislative elections at their determined time according to an election law to be agreed upon."

The declaration can be found (in Arabic) by clicking here.
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