Abbas to meet Hamas premier-designate over formation of gov't

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will head to the Gaza Strip later on Wednesday to meet Hamas prime minister-designate Ismail Haneya over the formation of a Hamas-led government, Palestinian official sources said.

Abbas would hold talks with Haneya at the headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority in Gaza and the president was also scheduled to meet leaders of other Palestinian factions, said the sources.

Abbas was expected to discuss with Haneya the latest efforts to form a new Hamas-led cabinet and disagreements between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement over decisions made by the previous Fatah- dominated parliament to grant additional powers to the president, the sources added.

Earlier, a Hamas spokesman said in the West Bank that the group was ready to present the line-up of the new government in the near future.

In addition, Hamas is currently holding a second round of talks with other Palestinian factions including Fatah over the new cabinet formation.

Hamas and Fatah lawmakers sharply disagreed on previous legislative approvals to enhance Abbas' powers.

Fatah lawmakers walked out of the parliament on Monday in protest against a voting mooted by Hamas to revoke the decisions.

The remaining lawmakers, most from Hamas, then voted in favor of annulment. Fatah has vowed to appeal to the Palestinian court against the Hamas move.

Defeating the long dominant Fatah movement in the Jan. 25 legislative elections, Hamas holds 74 seats in the 132-member parliament and has been tasked by Abbas with forming a new Palestinian government.

Source: Xinhua



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