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PPP: Goldstone affair must not harm unity efforts

Oct. 7, 2009 2:43 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 7, 2009 6:02 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma’an – Contacts are underway to ensure that Hamas, Fatah and other factions sign a unity deal later in October in spite of the row over the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) role in delaying a UN war crimes report, an official involved in the negotiations has said.

Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) official Walid Awad said “the faulty stance of the Palestinian Authority toward Goldstone’s report will not get in the way of the huge efforts underway to ensure the success of the Palestinian dialogue and that a reconciliation agreement is signed on 25 October.”

Hamas leaders excoriated President Mahmoud Abbas over the PA’s role in delaying action over the Goldstone report, but have stopped short of pulling out of the unity talks.

Awad said in an interview with Egypt’s Sawt Al-Arab radio station that “the conciliation agreement will be difficult and complicated, and needs to intensified Palestinian efforts to make it a reality.”

The official said however that work is ongoing behind the scenes to ensure that all the factions attend the 25 October summit.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Ahmad Aboul Gheit announced earlier this week that a unity deal would definitely be signed at the meeting in Cairo.

Awad said that Egypt’s setting of a date was a step that the Palestinian factions have waited for since the beginning of the division in 2007.

Awad also said that “the pressure that the US and Israel are applying on the Palestinian will lead to the deterioration of the Palestinian cause and the weakening of the internal situation which needs national unity to confront such pressures.”
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