Abbas Vows to Form Govt. with Hamas

Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas has promised to speed up efforts to form a caretaker unity government with Hamas, and pave the way for elections.

Speaking at a ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday to commemorate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas also vowed to push ahead with efforts to cement a landmark unity deal between Fatah and the Resistance Movement of Hamas.

His remarks came as Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal are set to meet in Cairo on November 25 for new rounds of reconciliation talks.

"In order to expedite the implementation of the reconciliation, we will continue to make every effort to speed up the resolution of the remaining issues — first among them the presidential and legislative elections, as well as those for the Palestinian National Council, and the formation of a government of independents to oversee the elections," Abbas said.

The Palestinian presidential and legislative elections are expected to take place within a year following the formation of a caretaker government.

Currently, Hamas, the democratically elected government in Gaza, and Fatah, which governs the West Bank, are at odds over who would take on the role of premier despite signing a reconciliation deal in May after four years of division, urging the formation of an interim government.

Abbas is said to have been trying to keep his current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in office, but Hamas has strongly opposed the choice.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.

Differences between the rival groups peaked in June in a bid to "foil a coup plot" by some Fatah elements.

Fatah in response sacked the Hamas government and set up a parallel cabinet in Ramallah.

(Press TV)

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