Fatah Official Says Reconciliation Talks with Hamas Moving Forward

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A Fatah representative at the reconciliation talks with Hamas, Azzam al-Ahmad, said on Tuesday, 12 February, that the reconciliation talks are going very well and the two sides have agreed on almost everything, including the issue of the security forces.

He strongly denounced at a press conference in Ramallah those who say that the talks are not bringing results, accusing them of working against reconciliation.

Talks were held this past weekend, beginning on Friday, February 8, in Cairo.  These talks were under the umbrella of the governing body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and included representatives from Fatah, Hamas, and other Palestinian political groups.

“There was agreement over most of the questions, except several points concerning the election law for the (Palestinian) National Council,” Ahmad said of the PLO’s legislative body.

Ahmad also said Fatah and Hamas will start talks on the new government next week in Cairo.

He said the talks will start next Tuesday and are supposed to conclude at the end of March after which President Mahmoud Abbas will issue two decrees on the government and elections.

Ahmad said that while the new government will be expected to prepare for elections within three months, it may take longer than that.

“If the government could not hold elections within three months, then there will be nothing wrong with postponing the elections date until everything is ready,” he said, expecting that the three month period will not be enough.

He stressed that once the government is formed, all forms of the division that have existed for six years will end.

“We will have one president and one government,” he said.

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