Cheney: Slim chances for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said on Monday he did not believe Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would agree to reconcile with Hamas until the latter gave up control of the Gaza Strip. He was speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, a day after representatives of Abbas' Fatah faction and Hamas issued a declaration in Sanaa agreeing to resume dialogue under a Yemeni fence-mending initiative.
"My conclusion from talking with the Palestinian leadership is that they have established preconditions which would have to be fulfilled before they would ever agree to a reconciliation, including a complete reversal of the Hamas takeover of Gaza," Cheney said, according to Reuters. Cheney met Abbas in the occupied West Bank on Monday shortly after the declaration was issued in the Yemeni capital.
Referring to the Gaza Strip, Cheney said: "It is clearly a difficult situation, in part because I think it's true that there is evidence that Hamas is supported by Iran and Syria and they are doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process."