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Arab League to meet in support of Palestinian unity

May 25, 2011 10:09 A.M. (Updated: May 26, 2011 4:45 A.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Permanent representatives to the Arab League will join its outgoing chief Amr Mussa for a meeting next week, where delegates will evaluate progress and implementation on the Palestinian reconciliation agreement.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat said Wednesday that the meeting would be held on May 31 at the request of the head of the current session of the council, Omani representative Khalifa Bin Ali Al-Harthi.

Supporting Palestinian unity is the goal of the meeting, the paper quoted Al-Harthi as saying, where delegates will discuss the appointment of an Arab follow-up committee to help implement articles in the agreement.

Signed in Cairo on May 4, the unity deal set out a path for the creation of a transitional government of technocrats, and the dissolution of the separate cabinets in the West Bank and Gaza.

Fatah and Hamas leaders are currently in Cairo hammering out the details of the new government, and setting out its platform for the coming year. A central elections committee must also be appointed, and a committee to work on the issue of political arrests and the release of prisoners.

Progress in the deal has been slow, with a group of eight smaller factions already frustrated at what they describe as being blocked out of the process in favor of Hamas and Fatah, the central rivals. The factions have been invited to Russia, whose foreign minister encouraged them to work for the completion of the unity process.

Al-Hayat also noted that the Arab League meeting would tackle the issue of financial support to the Palestinian Authority.
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