In recent speeches, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has called on Hamas to sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah, and has boasted that he did not give in to American pressure on this matter. The US had asked Abbas not to sign an agreement with Hamas.
Speaking of reconciliation with Hamas, Abbas insisted that the two factions agree on essential issues:
"There is no disagreement between us [Fatah and Hamas]: About belief? None! About policy? None! About [violent] resistance? None!"
Referring to US pressure to refrain from signing an agreement with Hamas, Abbas said that he had been subjected to "pressure" by the Americans, but that he had resisted that pressure and signed a preliminary agreement.
The quotes appear in a report by Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on January 7 that reads as follows:
"In a meeting with the Kuwaiti press... President [Abbas] expressed willingness to sign a document of national reconciliation with Hamas... Concerning the agreement expressed by the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, to sign the agreement and the question of whether the two sides are being subjected to external pressure, the President confirmed that he had been subjected to heavy pressure by the Americans, and that they had asked him not to sign, but he had signed [a preliminary agreement - Ed.] He said: '[For] anyone who claims that I am acceding to [American] pressure - I am not acceding to them. I have a great number of examples [proving] this.' He emphasized that the national interest was far more important than the other matters."