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Abbas moves on PLO constitution amendments

March 28, 2011 4:25 P.M. (Updated: March 29, 2011 8:36 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to convene the body's Constitution Committee, government news agency WAFA reported.

He advised the committee that it should draw up amendments to the PLO charter by the end of September.

The committee was first convened in 2005, after unity talks between 13 Palestinian factions in Cairo led to an agreement which paved the way for legislative elections in 2006.

Several elements of the agreement were never enforced, however, including the amendment of the PLO constitution and integration of Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO framework.

The council has not met since 2006.

In a statement Monday, Abbas said the council should finalize its work by the end of September, when Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's state-building project is scheduled to be completed.

The president urged the committee to convene "as soon as possible," either in Amman or in Cairo.

The committee, according to the original agreement, included the president of the National Council, the members of the PLO's Executive Committee, the secretary-generals of all Palestinian factions and independent national personalities.

In 2007, the prisoners' document called on Palestinian factions to "work quickly on achieving what has been agreed upon in Cairo in March 2005 pertaining to the development and activation of the PLO and the joining of Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movements to the PLO which is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people wherever they are located."
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