Issue of fixing date of elections thus far remains open between PNA & Hamas: member of Fatah central committee

Issue of fixing date of elections thus far remains open between PNA & Hamas: member of Fatah central committee

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 30 / Trend , U.Sadikhova/

The most important issue for Fatah in reconciling with Hamas is to determine the exact date of elections at the legislature-parliament and the president of the Palestinian National Authority next year, said Nabil Shaath, head of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the talkson national reconciliation of the Palestinian factions.

"Now the election is the most important issue in the national reconciliation of the Palestinians," Shaath said to Trend over telephone from Cairo. "We have agreed to postpone them for a few months [due to negotiations with Hamas], however, now it is important to fix an exact date for the election."

Member of the Fatah central committee, Shaath said that the national administration is ready to hold presidential elections and elections for the parliament on Jan. 24, but if it is needed, the date may be postponed by March and even April 2010.

Regarding a future conference on inter-Palestinian dialogue to be held in October in Cairo, Shaath said that "Fatah is optimistic at this conference and hopes that it will lead to an agreement on national reconciliation" with Hamas.

On Monday for the talks with the Egyptian leadership, head of the Hamas politburo Khaled Meshaal arrived in Cairo. At a news conference, he said that Hamas supports the Egyption plan for reconciliation of the Palestinian factions, according to which Hamas and Fatah should establish a common security force to control the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as organize the forthcoming elections.

Despite six rounds of talks between Fatah and Hamas that have been held through Egypt, the Palestinian parties are still unable to reach an agreement.

Shaath said that Fatah adopted the Egyptian plan for truce and hoped that the upcoming conference in October will lead to "the signing of the national agreement."

The differences between the two Palestinian factions began in the summer of 2007 after the armed clashes between Fatah and Hamas, as well as arrests in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Members of the Hamas security forces were able to drive Fatah out of Gaza and gained upper hand over the enclave. After the Israeli military operation "Cast Lead" in Gaza, which began in December last year and lasted 22 days, the Arab countries, particularly Egypt, called on Palestinian factions to negotiate in order to create a unified Palestinian national government

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