|France welcomes PA unity government|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 08 February 2007 17:00|
|Link from my friend Darrell... |
Well it's taken some time, but it seems Fatah and Hamas have finally agreed on the principles of a Palestinian unity government. Under the deal, current Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh will keep his job, and Hamas will "respect" PLO agreements with Israel when it is in their interests to do so. President Mahmoud Abbas will resume negotiations with Israel, and the Hamas terror-army will be merged with the President's "security" team. Of course, they got by with a little help from their friends. Saudi Arabia sweetened the deal by promising $1 billion in "aid" to the poverty-stricken government, if both terrorist organizations signed on the dotted line. French Foreign Minister Douste-Blazy, who famously called Iran a "stabilizing factor" in the Middle East and claimed the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza was "implicit recognition" of Israel's right to exist, welcomed the news of the Palestinian agreement.
Quote: "French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said he supported the deal between the moderate Fatah party and the militant Islamist Hamas movement signed in Mecca on Thursday, and called for international backing. "I salute the inter-Palestinian agreement reached yesterday in Mecca on the creation of a national unity government," Douste-Blazy said in a statement. "The inclusion in this government's programme of respecting international resolutions and agreements signed by the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) constitutes a step in the right direction towards full adherence to the international community's demands," he said.
But the government will not recognize Israel's right to exist, nor renounce violence. And for that, world leaders are expressing a cautious optimism, not wanting to be seen as obstructing peace. Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, has stated that aid to the Palestinian Authority will not recommence until they are certain that the new government is living up to the demands of the Quartet (EU, US, UN, Russia), that it recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence.
Quote: "EU officials said, however, it was too early resume sending international aid to the Palestinian Authority that was cut off when Hamas took control of the Palestinian Cabinet and legislature in last year's elections. First, they said, a new unity government must take office and live up to international demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by existing peace accords with Israel. Gallach said Solana has been on the phone with other members of the so-called Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - the US, the UN, the European Union and Russia - on deciphering the exact detail of the power-sharing accord.