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Middle East

Abbas meets with Palestinian Leadership to solidify support

media President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (R) walk with … Reuters/Stringer

Following his appointment as Prime Minister of the Palestinian unity government, President Mahmoud Abbas met with the central committees of Fatah and the PLO on Thursday.

The meeting was required to formally bring the Palestinian leadership up to date with the developments of talks held in Doha on Sunday, where the announcement of Abbas’ appointment had come as something of a surprise.

The Palestinian leadership expressed “complete support for the results of the meeting in Doha,” as well as agreeing the creation of a national unity government whose role is the construction of Gaza. In addiiton, it agreed to focus on the steps required to move towards forthcoming elections for the role of President as well as the Palestinian National and Legislative Committees.

The need to begin registration in order to finalise a date for the election was reaffirmed, in a statement by Hanna Nasser of the Central Elections Commission on Thursday which said the West Bank is ready for elections.

Speaking to RFI about the Palestinian leadership's reaction to Abbas’ appointment, Dr Hanan Ashrawi said that it was necessary to “break through the deadlock” and “remove objections to the new government.”

When asked about the influence of Qatar in the decision making process, Dr Ashrawi was quick to quash the rumour of one billon dollars being offered to the Palestinian Authority in order to speed along the formation of a unity government.

However, Dr Ashrawi affirmed the leadership’s hopes that this sum of money, which would ease the Palestinian Authority’s current financial crisis, would be provided by other members of the Arab League in order to “liberate the Palestinian economy.”

The Arab League Follow-up Committee is set to meet on Sunday to discuss the developments made so far.

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