Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas met on Wednesday with the US
president, Georg W. Bush, in New York, and held talks on efforts to
revive the stalled peace process, the National Unity Government, and
the resumption of aid to the Palestinians since it was stopped after
the Hamas part won the Palestinian legislative elections January 2006.
Bush did not promise much, Palestinian sources reported, he said that he hopes that a Palestinian state would be able to coexist side-by-side with Israel but did not talk about the US aid to the Palestinians that was cut since Hamas officially took office in March.
Moreover, Bush did not comment on Abbas's efforts to create a National Unity Government in the Palestinian areas.
A senior source at the Bush administration said after the meeting that the US Government did not change its stance which states that the resumption of aid depends on the recognition of the Hamas-led government by Israel, renouncing violence, and recognizing the previously signed agreements with Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said before that meeting that Abbas intends to ask bush to help him in reviving the stalled peace process.
Abbas said that he is holding onto the principle of a two-state solution in the Middle East.
Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya from the Hamas party, said in Gaza on Wednesday that Hamas rejects the conditions of the quartet that demands his government to recognize Israel before the resumption of aid to the P.A.
“They told us that we have to abide by certain conditions; recognize the occupation, renounce resistance and accept the agreements”, Haniya stated, “but we want to tell them that we will not recognize the legitimacy of occupation”.
The recent developments came as the Quartet met on the sidelines of the meetings of the General Assembly of the United Nations in order to set the rules and procedures in dealing with the formation of the National Unity government and the resumption of direct aid to the Palestinians, an aid that was halted since six months.
The Quartet is composed of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.
In a related incident, the Quartet of international Middle East peace mediators welcomed on Wednesday efforts to create a Palestinian national unity government, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
The Quartet said it hopes that the platform of the Palestinian government “would meet its principles”.
Also, the Quartet agreed to extend and expand a temporary international mechanism to channel aid to the Palestinians without sending the aid to the Hamas-led government.
It also “urged” Israel to hand over some $500 million in tax and customs revenues it withheld since the Hamas party won a vast majority in the Palestinian elections.
In Palestine, Fateh legislators accused Hamas of changing their stance regarding the formation of a National Unity Government.
Fateh legislator, Mohammad Dahlan, accused Hamas of practicing “political assassinations” and expressed hopes that this will not lead to a civil war.
Hamas slammed the statements and said that the movement obtained information that indicts leading security figures of involvement in the assassination of the head of the International Relations at the Palestinian Intelligence.
Hamas described the killing of the security official as “exposed internal assassination” that aims to weaken the government an its security control in the territories.