Fatah: no rift between Abbas, Libya over Hamas' presence at AL summit

20:41, February 23, 2010      

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A Palestinian official affiliated to Fatah on Tuesday denied differences between President Mahmoud Abbas and Libya over inviting Fatah's bitter rival, Hamas, to an Arab League (AL) summit slated for March in Tripoli.

"The reports about differences in the structure of the Palestinian delegation to the summit are unfounded," Jamal Muhissen, a member of the Central Committee of Abbas's Fatah party, told Xinhua.

On Tuesday, the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported that Abbas, who visited Libya on Saturday, failed to agree with Tripoli on the composition of the Palestinian delegation to the summit.

Following the disagreement, the report said, Libya still kept the door open for inviting Hamas, which routed pro-Abbas security forces and seized the Gaza Strip in 2007, to attend the summit.

Abbas did not meet Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during his visit to Tripoli.

However, Muhissen said "the structure of Palestinian delegation to any Arab summit is decided by President Abbas who has the sole right to add members of Palestine Liberation Organization's leadership (to the delegation), not people from factions and parties."

Muhissen said Libya is only a member of the AL which sponsors the summit, "so it doesn't have the right to intervene in the participating delegations."

Source: Xinhua
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