Abbas, Haniyeh fail to make progress in unity talks
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh failed to achieve progress on talks toward forming a unity government, an official said early Monday.
Hamas cabinet spokesman Ghazi Hamad said the movement hoped to present a government within two weeks. "We have not completed the consultations today. They will continue over the coming days," he said following the two leaders' meeting.
The leaders met for three hours in Gaza. They are negotiating on the basis of an accord announced last month in the Saudi city of Mecca.
Earlier Sunday, Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that the task of assigning government positions should be completed within the week. "The government is coming along. There is no serious problem in the consultations," said Rudeineh.
Abbas and Haniyeh were expected to hold additional meetings in Gaza on Monday and Tuesday, officials said
During their meeting, Abbas and Haniyeh discussed the remaining points of dispute between Fatah and Hamas. Some main issues were not resolved, the main one being the identity of the new interior minister. Hamas has so far suggested two candidates for the position, but Abbas has rejected both.
The parties also failed to agree on who would be named deputy prime minister on Behalf of Fatah, but it appears that Salam Fayyad will fill the post.
Another disagreement surrounded the appointment of foreign minister Ziad Abu Amer. Hamas wants his appointment to come at the expense of one of the independent ministers allotted to Fatah in the unity deal, while Fatah wants the opposite.