Representatives of the two major factions of the Palestinian movement, Hamas and Fatah, met and began unity talks in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Tuesday, September 22. The meeting is a follow-up of an earlier meeting in which their general secretaries took part earlier this month. The meeting is expected to finalize the implementation of the reconciliation plan agreed on earlier.
Earlier on Monday, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas talked to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan over phone to seek his help in the ongoing reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions. According to Anadolu Agency, both Hamas and Fatah have agreed to adhere to a principle of peaceful transfer of power on the basis of fresh elections in Palestine. The proposed elections will be based on the principle of proportional representation.
The groups have been at odds since 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza expelling forces loyal to Fatah after disagreements over the formation of government after 2006 elections. Earlier attempts to reconcile both the factions and unite the Palestinian movement were not successful for several reasons. However, post the announcement of Israel’s plan to formally annex parts of the occupied West Bank in May, the two factions came together and started talking about unity.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Maliki announced on Tuesday, September 22, that Palestine will not take up the presidency of the Arab League as a mark of protest against the UAE and Bahrain signing a normalization deal with Israel last week.
In a statement Maliki said that Palestinian Liberation Organization will not leave the Arab League. However, he added that it was unfortunate “the General Secretariat of the Arab League took a decision to overlook the UAE normalization [with Israel] and has failed to issue a resolution condemning [it]” on September 9, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
Maliki also expressed that other Arab countries will keep their commitment to Arab Peace Initiative which makes the normalization of relations between the Arab countries and Israel conditional to the resolution of the issue of Palestinian.