Fatah official: Abbas-Meshaal meeting to determine nominees for prime minister

The upcoming meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal is intended to resolve disagreements over the selection of the next head of the Palestinian government, said a source from the Fatah movement on Wednesday.

Azam Ahmad, a senior Fatah Central Committee member and head of the Fatah delegation, said that President Abbas would visit Cairo on Monday, 20 June to participate in the meeting on Tuesday. Khaled Meshaal will be present.

On Sunday, Hamas announced its rejection of the rival Fatah movement's nominee for prime minister, Salam Fayyad.

News reports previously said that both Hamas and Fatah had excluded Fayyad from their lists of potential candidates. Meanwhile, sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that it was unlikely that any nominee other than the Western-friendly Fayyad would be agreed upon.

Despite Hamas's rejection, observers do not rule out the possibility that Hamas may accept Fayyad within the framework of a deal that would guarantee gains for Hamas in the new government. Moreover, the desire by various Palestinian parties to form an internationally accepted government could pressure Hamas further in the direction of compromise.

In a press statement following his meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Araby on Wednesday, Ahmad said, "Some voices at the international level are trying to block the implementation of the reconciliation accord."

The accord, to be formally announced in Cairo on Wednesday, stipulates the formation of a technocratic national unity government and the holding of Legislative Council elections within a year of signing the agreement. If implemented, agreement would bring the Palestinian Authority's institutions in Gaza and the West Bank under unified control and rebuild Gaza.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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