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Public feelers for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation
by Rami Almeghari
June 03, 2008

Original title: `Palestinian Prime Minister of Hamas welcomes President Abbas` remarks`

Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, welcomed yesterday remarks by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas over possible conciliation between the rival Fatah and Hamas parties.

Haniya said in a brief statement, faxed to press, that he welcomes any efforts for conciliation, renewing call to the Arab states league to engage in more serious efforts for the sake of Palestinian national unity.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed during a press briefing in Ramallah with the German foreign minister, Frank Schtimetz, any efforts , whether Arab or international, for reaching a conciliation with the Islamist Hamas party.

Abbas also maintained that the rival Palestinian parties formed a unity government following the Mecca reconciliation deal in February2007, yet this government did not last long.

Abbas, who holds a away in the West Bank, outlawed Hamas after Hamas`s takeover of Gaza in June of last year, and demanded the Islalmist party to renounce control over the coastal region as a pre-condition for resumption of any dialogue.

Hamas considers Abbas`s demand ` illegitimate` and asserts it has come to power through democratic elections in 2006. Currently, Fatah is totally ousted by Hamas since fighting between the two parties stopped with Hamas wrestling control on Gaza in June2007.

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