A senior Hamas official said his movement was prepared to accept a Yemeni proposal for reconciliation with Fatah, which expressed willingness to launch a national dialogue when Hamas agrees to the terms of Yemen's initiative.
"The visit is to meet (Yemeni) President Ali Abdullah Saleh ... and inform him of the movement's acceptance of the Yemeni initiative," Hamas deputy politburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk told Al Jazeera television upon his arrival in the Yemeni capital. Earlier, Hamas official in the Gaza Strip Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that the movement would discuss the points of the Yemeni initiative.
The Yemeni bid calls for the situation in Gaza Strip to return to the way it was before Hamas seized control of the territory and for early Palestinian elections to be held, conditions backed by President Abbas and so far rejected by Hamas. "We accept to discuss all the points stated in the Yemeni initiative openly on the dialogue table," Abu Zuhri said. "The Yemeni initiative did not talk about preconditions but it listed items or points for dialogue and we're willing to discuss them." Officials from Fatah said they were prepared to start a national dialogue if Hamas accepts the terms of Yemen's proposal.
Nimmer Hammad, an aide to Abbas, said it was too early to say when any such talks could open. "If they accepted the Yemeni initiative as is, then yes, talks with Hamas can resume." Asked when, Hammad said: "Right now, this is premature."
Delegations from the two rival factions are to meet separately with Yemeni President Ali Saleh but a breakthrough seems unlikely in the absence of Abbas and Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal.
"If the brothers in Hamas accept the Yemeni initiative completely in all its clauses, we are ready to immediately begin a Palestinian national dialogue, not just between Fatah and Hamas but all the national factions," senior Abbas aide Azzam al-Ahmed told reporters in Yemen. "The dispute is not between Fatah and Hamas ... it is between all the national action factions ... and Hamas. Hamas has been singled out ... from the start when it used armed force."