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Haniyeh: Reconciliation is progressing despite delays

June 30, 2011 7:20 P.M. (Updated: July 2, 2011 11:21 A.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday that progress is being made to implement the Palestinian reconciliation agreement "even if it is slow."

Hamas and Fatah signed a unity agreement on May 4, ending years of hostility. However, a meeting in Cairo to finalize the formation of a unity government was postponed.

Officials from both parties have said talks stalled over a leadership row. Hamas rejected Fatah's nomination of Salam Fayyad for the post of Prime Minister in the new government.

Haniyeh said that despite the delay, there would not be a return to division "under any circumstance."

"We were partners in blood and we could be partners on all levels. The conciliation is progressing even if it is slow."

He added: "We are determined to achieve [unity]."

Meanwhile, Haniyeh called for a football match between the top teams in Gaza and the West Bank.

He said that if Israel would not allow the match to be held on Palestinian territory it could be held in another country in the region.
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