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Report: Fatah and Hamas delay unity govt

June 29, 2011 10:13 P.M. (Updated: July 1, 2011 7:48 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Fatah and Hamas have reportedly agreed to delay the formation of a unity government until after the UN September statehood bid due to an impasse in reconciliation talks over the position of prime minister.

President Mahmoud Abbas suggested to Hamas through Turkish intermediaries that the first stage of reconciliation be delayed and the status quo be maintained until after September, the Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday.

Abbas is reported to have visited Turkey a few days ago to make the offer, coinciding with a visit by Hamas’ chief in exile Khalid Mash'al, who was meeting with Turkish officials to discuss how to overcome disagreements over the post of prime minister.

Reconciliation talks will instead reportedly move into phase two; the reactivation of the PLO.

Meanwhile, the current caretaker government headed by Salam Fayyad will be reshuffled in the near future, with nine portfolios to be given to new ministers, Ma'an has learned.

Reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have not failed and it is thought that the leadership of both parties prefer to give an impression of unity as the UN September bid approaches, the source added.

The Palestinian leadership has been pursuing a diplomatic campaign to secure recognition of a Palestinian state in September at the UN. So far 120 countries are set to recognize Palestine, with the leadership pursuing a further 24 votes to guarantee the statehood bid at the UN General Assembly in September.

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