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Hawatmeh: An Egyptian initiative to form a unity government and to carry out legislative and presidential elections
By: Nadia Saed Al-din
October 22, 2008

Cairo is presenting the Arab League a program of national reconciliation to level the road for dialogue

- To form a unity government of political figures and independent professionals

- To carry out presidential and legislative elections simultaneously on a certain date

- To rebuild the PLO and to hold new elections of the National Council, within the homeland and in the diaspora, using a formula of total percentage representation

The secretary general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Nayef Hawatmeh, said, “In next few days, the Egyptian leadership will present an initiative for agreement between the Palestinian organizations to the Arab League of States. It will have the objective of creating the conditions for having internal national Palestinian dialogue.”

Hawatmeh added that, “The Egyptian initiative —which was discussed and agreed to by 12 Palestinian organizations, and ratified in the meeting held on Friday, October 10, with National Authority Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas, who was on a visit to Syria— constitutes a starting point for national dialogue, foreseen to take place soon under the auspices of the Arab League.”

He pointed out that, “The Egyptian initiative is based on: the formation of a national unity government with political figures and independent professionals not aligned to Palestinian organizations; carrying out new legislative and presidential elections with an agreed upon date; and in rebuilding the PLO through the election of a new national counsel. This latter would occur within inside and outside of the homeland, and would be based on total percentage representation – quite distinct from the policy of quotas between different organizations.

The DFLP head said that in the meeting, “President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed that there would not be a bilateral meeting between Al-Fatah and Hamas, as was announced for the 25th of this month, and that “negotiations with Israel will resume after the formation of a new Israeli government, whose creation is expected to occur before the end of the month.”

Hawatmeh asked for an end to the interference in the Arab region by alliances that are trying to impose their own solutions on the Palestinians according to their own interests.

He described the meeting that he had with the Palestinian president as positive and fruitful, noting that during the encounter the necessity of presenting the Egyptian initiative to the Arab League was reaffirmed. That initiative was the result of recent dialogue in Cairo with the Palestinian forces.

The Palestinian leader said the Egyptian initiative includes the necessity of “freeing political prisoners in both parts, in Gaza and the West Bank, and halting all types of media instigation between Al-Fatah and Hamas.”

He added that, “The necessity was reaffirmed of creating a new government of national unity of independent figures with an independent prime minister that substitutes for the leadership of Salam Fayyad and Ismail Haniyeh, to guarantee the lifting of the blockade imposed on Gaza and to prevent the West Bank from being blocked.”

The two leaders agreed that national global dialogue constitutes the road to ending division and for the construction of unity. They concurred that there would be no return to bilateral meetings and agreements on quotas between Al-Fatah and Hamas, as had been approved in the February 8 agreement in Mecca, which led to civil war and military and political flare ups.

Hawatmeh said that he “informed President Abbas that all the national organizations and democratic Palestinians reject bilateral dialogue and the distribution of power between Al-Fatah and Hamas, which led Arab and Palestinian efforts from June 2007 to our present situation – to destruction.”

He insisted on the attainment of dialogue between Palestinians within a united framework supported by previous agreements, such as the Cairo Declaration; the National Reconciliation Document, signed by the Palestinian forces; and for the Egyptian initiative based on the talks in Cairo with the various Palestinian organizations.

In conclusion, the DFLP leader warned about the latest news regarding bilateral talks between Al-Fatah and Hamas, which were to take place on October 25, and reported on the formation of common committees, which would cause enormous damage to all efforts carried out to achieve global dialogue. He said, “Any bilateral meeting outside the framework of global dialogue constitutes a setback to that agreement and spurs deeper division.”

Egypt announced that 12 of 13 Palestinian organizations agreed to the formation of a government of independent national figures not affiliated to the Palestinian forces. The objective is to lift the international blockade and to prevent it from being imposed again —in any of its forms— on the Palestinian territories. This would also impede the formation of a government composed of organizations that would lead to the deepening of division, power struggles and the weakening of the Palestinian position.


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