Palestinian president confirms difficulties in forming unity government
Attempts to form a Palestinian government acceptable to the West have gone "back to zero," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday. Hamas is refusing to recognize Israel.
Abbas said Saturday during a visit to Cairo that "backtracking took place" on the negotiations for a unity government with Hamas. "Sadly, we are back to zero," he said after talks with Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.
According to Abbas, Hamas' stance had weakened his position during meetings with the United States and European countries on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly earlier this week in New York.
The Palestinian president denied Saturday that there were secret talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. "I wish there were unannounced negotiations," he said.
Asked about possible meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Abbas said, "We are ready to meet anytime and anywhere without conditions."