Talks between Palestinian factions continue

Reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions will continue tomorrow, as Hamas' top leaders seek approval for the final draft of a Yemeni-sponsored agreement, Yemen's foreign minister said tonight.

Reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions will continue tomorrow, as Hamas' top leaders seek approval for the final draft of a Yemeni-sponsored agreement, Yemen's foreign minister said tonight.

Delegates from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party and the Islamic Hamas movement are in San'a for talks with Yemeni officials on ending their divisions.

The talks are based on a seven-point plan proposed by Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to end the dispute between the Palestinian rivals and rebuild the shattered Palestinian Authority.

The initiative calls on Hamas to restore Mr Abbas' authority in Gaza, where they seized control in June last year.

"We have reached a final agreement regarding the Yemeni initiative. But our Hamas brothers have demanded more time to consult their leaders outside," Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu-Bakr al-Qirbi told reporters today.

"This has been agreed to, and the signing of the agreement was postponed until tomorrow," Mr al-Qirbi added.

In Gaza, Hamas-appointed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said today that "good progress" has been made so far but insisted that Fatah drops its preconditions for dialogue.

The talks have dragged-on since Thursday, with Fatah and Hamas delegates trading accusations they are hindering a breakthrough.

"We could say that good progress was made, but there are still many issues that need to be discussed further," Mr Haniyeh said.

"We are up for dialogue, but unconditional dialogue... When we went to Yemen and agreed to the Yemeni initiative, we agreed on it as a framework for dialogue but not as a set of conditions," he said.

He did not comment on whether Hamas was ready to agree to the Yemeni plan.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox