Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’ leader Khaled Mashaal will meet in the next few days, an official with Abbas’ Fatah party has claimed.
The Fatah’s national relations official, Diab Al-Loh, told the Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an news agency that the meeting between the two had simply been postponed because of some changes on Abbas’ agenda.
The remarks come on the heels of a report earlier this week that talks between the Fatah and Hamas movements regarding forming a new PA cabinet had been postponed.
Abbas and Mashaal had been scheduled to meet in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss the make-up of an interim government, a requirement of the unity pact recently signed between the two factions.
The talks had reportedly stalled on the issue of the identity of the Prime Minister who will head the transitional government.
Abbas has been championing for his current Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, to continue in the role in the interim government as well, but Hamas has rejected Fayyad, saying his views are too “moderate.”
Al-Loh stressed that Fatah is working toward national consensus and will be committed in executing all its items. He added that all sides are about to form an independent government.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hamas officials slammed an admission by Abbas that Fayyad would indeed be appointed Prime Minister of the unity government.
Abbas had made the comments during an interview with the Lebanese Broadcast Cooperation, saying he had nominated Fayyad for the top position in the planned unity cabinet.
Hamas was quoted by Ma’an as having said in response that Abbas’ comments were an “unjustified media escalation.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Abbas’ comments are selfish and “not in the interests of the Palestinian people.”
He said, “We have worked out an initiative and it was agreed upon and signed by Hamas [and Fatah].”
Abu Zuhri reminded that the agreement called for the formation of a “government of independent figures and technocrats to be agreed upon [by both sides].”