Abbas urges int'l community not to boycott new Palestinian unity government
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged the international community not to boycott a new proposed national unity government to be formed by the two Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas.
Speaking on his arrival in Stockholm at the start of a two-day visit to Sweden, Abbas said forming a new unity government between Fatah and Hamas would be "the only hope" for Palestinians.
Efforts to form a unity government have failed in the past, partly because key powers, including Israel and the United States, refused to accept a coalition that included Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, Xinhua reported.
However, the two movements have recently showed willingness to join hands. They will try to bridge their differences in the two-day talks starting in Cairo on Wednesday.
Such a unity government must fully honour the commitments accepted by the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), Abbas said in an interview with the Swedish news agency TT.
Hamas and Fatah can refuse to respect the commitments, but the unity government must respect them. "We have no choice," he said.
The two movements have been in conflict since Hamas ousted security forces of Abbas from the Gaza Strip in 2007 and seized control of the territory.
Abbas has previously visited the Czech Republic and Norway as part of his European trip. He is set to meet Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Wednesday.