Abbas in Cairo for Palestinian unity talks

Feb. 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM
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CAIRO, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is in Cairo for meetings on efforts to form a Palestinian unity government and to rebuild Gaza, officials said.

Abbas is to serve as chairman of a meeting Thursday with chiefs of Palestinian factions, Palestine Liberation Organization leaders and the speaker of the Palestinian National Council, Ma'an news agency reported.

Wasil Abu Yousif, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Front, said meeting participants would focus on the formation of a technocrat government to be led by Abbas, as outlined in an agreement in Doha, Qatar, between Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal.

The government will prepare for presidential and legislative elections as well as elections of new leadership for the Palestinian National Council, Abu Yousif said.

The meeting is also to focus on the restoring the PLO's role as a leader of the Palestinian people, Abu Yousif said.

Abu Yousif, asked about recent remarks by some Hamas leaders who maintain the government would not adopt the political agenda of Abbas, said, "We hope all obstacles will be overcome."

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