“Abu Mazen would be glad to give up the visit to the White House. He will be reprimanded there and warned that, if he forms a national unity government with Hamas, he will receive the same treatment from the United States as Ismail Haniya,” said a senior official from Abbas’s cabinet.
Yesterday, the U.S. administration summoned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Washington with the express intention of making it clear to him that it takes a dim view of forming a unity government with Hamas.
In a meeting with the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, Abbas was told that, if he were to be part of such a government, the U.S. would give him the same treatment it gives Hamas. In a report about the meeting, it was revealed that Israel has conveyed messages to Washington stating that it expects the United States to make it clear to Chairman Abbas that there would be no compromise on the conditions being demanded from Hamas by the international community.
However, U.S. administration officials made it clear that, despite its objections, Washington would continue to maintain contact with Abu Mazen, for two reasons: First of all, if this door is also closed, it means that the U.S. and Israel have no channel of dialogue with the Palestinian Authority. The second reason: The U.S. needs to prove to Europe and the Arab states that efforts are being made to further the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, so that these states would join the U.S. in the coalition it is forming against Iran.
Palestinian Authority: No Impasse In Government Talks
Sources in the Palestinian Authority deny reports that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has frozen the talks on the establishment of a national unity government. They say the talks will be resumed when Abbas returns from his visit to the United States.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya also said the reports about the talks being frozen are groundless. Haniya said the talks were broken off because Abbas had to appear at the United Nations, and that the discussions will resume as soon as he returns. Haniya attacked the United States, saying that, according to the logic of the U.S. administration, “We will receive neither a state nor sovereignty.”
Two days ago, the spokesman of the Palestinian Authority announced that Mahmoud Abbas had frozen the national unity government talks. Fatah Spokesman Ahmed Abd el-Rahman also declared yesterday that Abbas had frozen the steps toward forming a unity government. According to Abd el-Rahman, the reason Abbas suspended the move lay in the “many negative declarations of some of the Hamas leadership, which had had a negative effect on the positions of international factors, mainly after the efforts of Abbas had succeeded in changing the atmosphere in the international community, and its attitudes to the new government.”
©The Bulletin 2006