Abbas, Meshaal talks delayed
Talks between president Mahmud Abbas, who heads Fatah and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal on a new Palestinian unity government have been postponed, a Fatah official said on Sunday. The two leaders were due to meet in Cairo on Tuesday.
The negotiations have stalled over the issue of who will head the transitional government, with Abbas backing his current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for the job. Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmed said that the delay was intended to move the talks forward. "The meeting has been postponed until a new date is set in the coming days in order to assure the best atmosphere for the successful implementation of the reconciliation agreement," he told AFP.
According to Ahmed, Fatah had requested the delay in the talks "to create the right atmosphere and because of the commitments that have come up on the president's schedule in Turkey." He said Abbas would visit Turkey on Wednesday.
In Gaza, Hamas government head Ismail Haniya said the postponement is a sign of the profound discussions betwenn the two sides. "This is a sign of the seriousness of the discussions on the make-up of the government and who will head it."