Hamas leader denies disputes with Abbas on new cabinet formation

A senior leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) denied on Saturday disputes emerged between the group and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, days ahead of a new cabinet is to be formed.

Saed Seyam, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) told reporters in Gaza that earlier reports saying that Abbas had rejected the political program of a Hamas-led new cabinet were totally untrue.

"These reports are totally untrue. Abbas has not rejected a Hamas letter he received on Friday and President Abbas has not rejected the program of the new cabinet," said Seyam.

Some media reports said earlier on Saturday that Abbas rejected a letter he received from Palestinian Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haneya on the new cabinet formation, saying "it is vague and contradicts with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) commitments."

Seyam clarified that Hamas does not deal with Abbas through the mass media, adding "we deal with each other through direct official contacts."

"President Abbas gave us a letter two weeks ago, and then Haneya responded in a letter he gave to President Abbas on Friday, and now Hamas is waiting for an answer from the president. Until now we got nothing official," said Seyam.

Seyam said that what has been mentioned in the letter of response Haneya gave to Abbas represents many things in common.

"It is a new base and a ground of cooperation between the new cabinet and the president," Seyam told reporters.

Abbas officially charged Haneya on Feb. 21 to form the next government within five weeks following Hamas' landslide parliamentary victory in January.

Hamas, which holds 74 seats in the 132-member PLC, is now in talks with other Palestinian factions on forming a coalition government within the deadline.

Abbas left Ramallah on Saturday afternoon on a European tour via Jordan on a mission to keep European financial aid to the PNA.

Source: Xinhua

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