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Haniyeh meets journalists to mark World Press Freedom Day

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh yesterday met with journalists in the Gaza Strip to mark World Press Freedom Day during which he discussed efforts to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation.

Mr Haniyeh told journalists that this agreement would be unlike the Makkah agreement because it discussed issues related to security.

The prime minister said he expected that the Higher Leadership Committee consisting of factional secretary generals would convene for the first time on the second day of the reconciliation signing in Cairo when discussions about the national consensus government are also due to take place.

He spoke of the need for an Arab stance in support of Palestinian reconciliation and expressed a fear that Arab states who support the Palestinian Authority would withdraw support from a coalition government after reconciliation. He also asserted that Israeli attempts to financially blackmail the Palestinian Authority must be countered by Arab funding.

Mr Haniyeh stressed that the new government would be facing major tasks including preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections as well as elections for the National Council. They will also have to work toward the building and supervision of a joint Palestinian security force in the Palestinian Territories as well as the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

Mr Haniyeh drew attention to statements made by the Egyptian leadership with regard to the opening of the Rafah border crossing as a good indication that the siege on Gaza would be lifted.