Thursday, February 8, 2007

saudi's influnce with the Palestinians ...!

Progress being made in Mecca; agreement reached on number of portfolios for each party in future government
February 8, 2007

Progress being made in Mecca; agreement reached on number of portfolios for each party in future government

Mecca - Ma'an - Sources close to the Palestinian delegations in Mecca have revealed on Thursday that Hamas and Fatah have reached an agreement on the distribution of the leading ministerial portfolios within the coalition government.

According to our sources, in the expected government, nine portfolios will be given to Hamas, six to Fatah, four to other factions and six "independent" figures, three of which will be nominated by Hamas and three by Fatah. A comprehensive agreement is expected within the coming hours, reported the same sources.

Earlier on Thursday morning, President Abbas and PLC member Mohammad Dahlan met with the head of the Hamas politburo, Khalid Mash'al, and Prime Minister Haniyeh in the Safa palace in the holy city of Mecca. These four dignitaries represent the higher decision-makers within both delegations. Sources said that the two-hour meeting was very positive, and tackled all the contentious points which have blocked the composition of a coalition government. The four leaders are due to hold another meeting on Friday evening.

During his meeting with the Saudi minister of interior, Saud Al-Faysal and national security advisor, Bandar Ibin Sultan, Mohammad Dahlan praised the role which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has played to end the crisis facing the Palestinian people.

On Wednesday evening, the two delegations held a meeting, during which they spoke frankly about the issues of intrigue, and the reasons which led to the internecine fighting in the Gaza Strip. Sources said that it was a successful "ice-breaking" meeting.

Jamal Nazzal, spokesman of the Fatah movement in the West Bank, has revealed that agreement has been reached on issues related to the political program of the expected government as follows:

First: The new government will stick to the consecutive resolutions of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), including the 19th session.

Second: The government will commit to Arab and international community
resolutions, although discussion is still ongoing over Hamas' insistence on the term "respect" as an alternative to " commit to".

Nazzal added that two "independent" candidates have been nominated for the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Finance, Ziad Abu Amr and Salam Fayyad. Other portfolios are to be distributed later. Nazzal also reported that Hamas will nominate the Prime Minister, on the condition that Fatah nominates the deputy Prime Minister.