Senior leaders of the Fatah and Hamas movements stated that Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas Political Bureau head, Khaled Mashal, will be holding a meeting in approximately one week in an attempt to implement the National Unity Agreement.President Abbas said that the meeting is scheduled to be held on November 23, yet, member of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Izzat al-Rishiq, stated that the meeting will actually take place on November 25, and added that, “[w]hen Abbas stated that the meeting is on the 23rd, he likely meant that he will be arriving in Cairo on that date.”
“The meeting between us and our brothers in the Fatah movement will take place on the 25th,” al-Rishiq added, “Abbas and Mashal will be holding talks then.”
He added that the Unity Agreement was signed under Egyptian supervision in May this year, and that certain remaining obstacles were discussed behind closed doors.
“The remaining issues, especially setting a date for national elections, will be discussed during the Abbas-Mashal meeting,” al-Rishiq elaborated.
Fatah Political Bureau member, Jamal Mheisin, said that the meeting was well prepared for, and is supposed to bring an end to internal divisions, and lead to implementing the Unity Agreement.
Head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik of Hamas, recently stated that the Abbas-Mashal meeting, “[w]ill be the last chance to implement reconciliation,” and warned of the devastating effects of its failure.
Dweik added that Abbas and Mashal will sign a document regarding the implementation of the Unity Agreement, and that the meeting is considered “an ice-breaking meeting between Fatah and Hamas, and not a new wave of talks.”
On his part, Mheisin told Ma’an that should Abbas insist on not running for president again, Fatah’s Central Committee will then discuss the issue and decide on a new candidate.
“I hope that Abbas will decide to run for president again,” Mheisin stated. “Should he insist on not running for his post again, it would be the first time that a president leaves post while his people want him to remain in it.”