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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:22, March 26, 2006
Abbas okays Hamas-led cabinet
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a letter he addressed to Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haneya that he okayed new Hamas-led cabinet, a senior Palestinian official announced on Saturday.

Tayeb Abdel Rahim, an aide to Abbas, told an urgent news conference held at the latter's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah that the letter included Abbas' acceptance to Haneya's cabinet.

"Abbas asked Prime Minister-designate Haneya to present his cabinet and its platforms to the Palestinian Legislative Council ( PLC) for a confidence vote," said Abdel Rahim.

Abbas, who is in Jordan, is scheduled later Saturday to head to Egypt to meet with Egyptian leaders before going to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum to attend the annual Arab summit next Tuesday.

Abdel Rahim told reporters in Ramallah that Haneya met with Abbas' office chief of staff in Gaza Adnan al-Husseini and received Abbas' official letter.

Hamas sources said that Haneya is intending to present his cabinet to the PLC, where Hamas has overwhelming majority, to get its confidence on Monday.

"After he had carefully studied the coming cabinet's platforms, President Abbas decided to write to Haneya telling him to go to the parliament and present it to its members to get their confidence," said Abdel Rahim.

However, Abbas was concerned about the new government's program. "Abbas expressed his sorrow that the cabinet ignored the principles Abbas stressed in his letter of commission," Abdel Rahim said

Abbas, who asked Haneya to form the new cabinet on Feb. 21 following Hamas victory in the Jan. 25 parliamentary elections, urged Hamas to be committed to the principle of seeking negotiated solution to the conflict with Israel.

"The letter to Haneya assured that the democratic choice of the Palestinian people can never be a coup on the legal and political commitments of the Palestinian Authority," Abdel Rahim said.

Hamas failed to form a coalition government as the radical Islamic group rebuffed demands by Fatah and other factions in the PLC to respect peace deals signed with Israel and recognize Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), headed by Abbas, as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The PLO executive committee rejected the new cabinet's platform after Hamas declined to do so.

Source: Xinhua

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