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Al-Ahmad: Fatah, Hamas, Egypt to form committee

Jan. 21, 2013 9:02 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 22, 2013 5:03 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas and Fatah will form a tripartite committee with Egypt to implement national reconciliation, a Fatah leader said Monday.

Azzam al-Ahmad told Voice of Palestine radio that he will represent Fatah in the committee and Musa Abu Marzouq will represent Hamas.

An Egyptian delegation will visit the West Bank and Gaza to follow up on reconciliation, al-Ahmad said, adding that no date had been set for the trip.

The visit may be considered after a PLO leadership meeting on Feb. 9, the Fatah leader said, stressing that Egypt was closely monitoring the application of agreements between his party and Hamas.

Fatah and Hamas leaders have held unity talks in Cairo in January, agreeing to implement a reconciliation agreement signed in the Egyptian capital in May 2011.

Under the Egypt-brokered deal, Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government of technocrats and independents to oversee national elections, which have been on hold since the parties split into separate governments in 2007.

Al-Ahmad rejected Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya's assertion that the unity government must be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The unity government must take an oath in front of President Mahmoud Abbas, and so will not need approval from the PLC, al-Ahmad said.

One month after the new government's formation, the PLC will have the right to approve or reject it, he added.

It will govern for six months, during which time elections will be held, al-Ahmad said.
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