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Reconciliation is making progress "but not at hoped-for level"

Osama Hamdan, the senior representative of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Lebanon, has said that the meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's leadership in Cairo was "positive and made significant progress, but not at the hoped-for level." The meeting was attended by the leaders of Fatah and Hamas and was seen as an important step in the reconciliation process between the two major Palestinian factions.


Hamdan said that a meeting scheduled for today (Monday) to look at the proposed unity government has been postponed for a few days for further consultation on the relationship between the interim government and the date of the elections.

"President Mahmoud Abbas proposed that two decrees should be issued for a new government to be formed [to stay in office] for three years and elections to be held within three months," explained Mr. Hamdan.

"We said that the formation of the government will convey a message that the division has ended, and that the issue of elections and its date is to be determined by consensus."

The Hamas official denied that the reconciliation process has stalled again. "Our policy in Hamas is to facilitate reconciliation, and if there is any obstruction, we are keen to resolve all obstacles that may hinder the process. It has not been frozen. Progress has been made. It is true that this progress is not at the required level, but it is significant and positive."

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