Turkey fails to push Palestinian reconciliation forward

14:50, June 24, 2011      

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Turkey failed to help make progress in ending the rift between rival Palestinian groups who agreed to reconcile last month, a Palestinian official said Thursday.

"There is no result for the Turkish efforts so far," said Azzam Al-Ahmad, an official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.

Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas chief, arrived suddenly in Turkey on Wednesday, a day after Abbas arrived there. Officials expected that the leaders of the two rival groups would meet to settle a dispute over the prime minister of a unity government to be formed to boost Palestinian national reconciliation.

In May, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement in Cairo to end the Palestinian split by forming a unity government that would administer both the Fatah-ruled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Al-Ahmad told Xinhua that contacts are underway to prepare for a meeting between Abbas and Mashaal to try to agree on a premier.

A meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday in Cairo had been canceled.

Abbas wants to keep the West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in his post to avoid possible international isolation of a Palestinian government that would be formed in agreement with Hamas. A U.S.-educated economist, Fayyad is acceptable to the international community.

Hamas insists not to accept Fayyad, considering him illegal since his government has not got a confidence vote from the Hamas- dominated parliament.

Sources said that Turkey sought to persuade Hamas to accept Fayyad. The sources added that Turkey, which maintains good relations with Hamas, hopes that the Islamic movement would accept Fayyad.

Source: Xinhua
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