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PLO to discuss forming new unity government

Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) yesterday declared it would start discussions with Palestinian factions over the formation of new national unity government, the Anadolu Agency reported.

After a PLO meeting in Ramallah, PLO member Wasel Abu Yousef told Anadolu that the organisation decided to discuss the formation of a new national unity government with the Palestinian factions within a week.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah attended the meeting. Abu Yousef said: “The PLO decided to hold discussions with all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” He noted that the PLO would then evaluate the talks.

The decision came after warnings from several Palestinian factions that forming a Palestinian government which included Fatah alone would not be acceptable.

On 23 April 2014, Fatah and Hamas agreed on a national government to end divisions between the factions, reactivate parliament and prepare for elections. However, the government refused to take full responsibility for Gaza, demanding Hamas disarm.

Hamas, which holds an overwhelming majority in parliament, accepted a government without any Hamas minister, but refused to disarm. It has always said that it would only disarm after Israel ends its occupation of Palestinian lands.

Commenting on the proposal put forward by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Abu Yousef said that the Palestinian leadership accepts and supports any solution leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

During separate visits to Jerusalem and Ramallah, Fabius urged for a UN resolution that would guide negotiations leading to an independent Palestinian state and which could include a timeframe for talks.

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