Author: ADAM RASGON

Posted on January 18, 2017

 

 

Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions on Tuesday in Moscow reaffirmed an agreement they reached in Beirut a week ago, which said that they should form a new Palestinian National Council and a unity government, a top PLO official said.

“The agreement in Moscow is a confirmation of what we agreed on in Beirut,” Mustafa Barghouti, a PLO Executive Committee member, told The Jerusalem Post, upon the conclusion of a series of reconciliation talks in Moscow.

All the Palestinian factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad participated in a meeting last week in Beirut to begin discussions on the possibility of convening the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s parliament.

The Beirut meeting concluded with a statement, expressing “the necessity of holding a meeting of the Palestinian National Council which includes all Palestinian factions” and “the necessity of implementing reconciliation agreements and understandings beginning with the formation of a national unity government,” without setting specific timeframes for such measures to come to fruition.

Barghouti, who is also the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said there was only one difference in the conclusions of the meeting in Moscow compared to that of Beirut.

“There was one addition to the Beirut meeting, which is that there will be a recourse to the president to act as fast as possible to initiate discussions regarding the formation of a national unity government,” Barghouti stated, adding that, “The idea of the government would be to start bridging the division between Gaza and the West Bank and prepare for national elections in six months.”

A national unity government would include ministers from the different Palestinian factions with representation in the Palestinian Legislative Council, the PA’s parliament, including Hamas and Fatah.

The Palestinian factions have reached numerous reconciliation agreements previously that ultimately have gone unimplemented. In May 2014, the factions agreed to form a national unity government and hold elections by December 2015. While a government of technocrats and independents was formed with limited autonomy over resources in the Gaza Strip, elections never took place.

 

 

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Palestinian-factions-reaffirm-agreement-to-form-national-unity-government-478801