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Abbas congratulates Al-Assad for re-election as Syrian president

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has said the re-election of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad started “a countdown to the end of Syria’s crisis”.

Agency France Press quotes Abbas as saying in a hand written message to Al-Assad: “Your election to the presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic guarantees Syria’s unity and sovereignty, and starts of a countdown to the end of Syria’s crisis and its war against terrorism.”

This is the clearest support that Al-Assad has received from the PA since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in mid-2011. Abbas expressed his hopes for stability in Syria and “success” for Al-Assad.

The PA’s relations with the Syria regime deteriorated when a verbal clash about the reliability of talks with the Israeli occupation erupted between Abbas and Al-Assad during an Arab League meeting held in Libya in 2010.

As Syria’s relations with Hamas were good at the time, Fatah demanded that the reconciliation file with Hamas be moved away from Damascus. But then Al-Assad’s regime got angry with Hamas when it decided to support the popular Syrian uprising.

This development made Fatah repair its relations with Al-Assad and the PA sent missions to talk with the Syrian regime about the Yarmouk refugee camp, which has been under siege for about a year.

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