Turkey welcomes deal between Palestine's Hamas, Fatah

Erdogan tells Hamas chief over the phone that he is pleased with reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

Turkey welcomes deal between Palestine's Hamas, Fatah

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Khaled Mashaal, Hamas political bureau chief, on Thursday that he welcomed the reconciliation deal between the two rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah on forming a national unity government.

Palestinian factions have signed a deal that aims to end the longstanding schism between rivals Fatah and Hamas. According to the deal, a new government will be formed within weeks with simultaneous presidential and parliamentary polls to follow later this year.

Mashaal called Erdogan and informed him about the deal with Fatah, according to the Turkish Prime Ministry.

Erdogan reportedly told Mashaal that Turkey gives a great importance to the compromise among Palestinian groups and the national unity of Palestinians. 

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also reaffirmed support to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Khaled Mashaal, and Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza Prime Minister over the phone. 

Palestine attaches great importance to Turkey's support, according to diplomatic sources.

Turkey deputy PM: Palestinian unity positive for region

The groundbreaking agreement between Palestinian rival movements Fatah and Hamas to form a national unity government will contribute to Middle East peace, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler said Thursday. 

"This agreement will lead to a strengthening of the communication and dialogue between the two sides. I hope it will be long-term," said Isler during an official visit to Kosovo, where he met with Kosovo's prime minister and parliament speaker. 

"This conciliation should have happened earlier. For sure it will result positively for Palestinians but also for the entire region. Divisions within Palestine were a serious obstacle to peace," he said.

Bahrain hails Fatah-Hamas reconciliation

Bahrain on Thursday welcomed a recent reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian factions.

"Bahrain hopes the deal will contribute to ending Palestinian rifts and help the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement quoted by Bahrain's official news agency.

It went on to say that the deal had highlighted the "wisdom" of the Palestinian leadership, who had managed to end inter-Palestinian divisions.

On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal that aims to end years of divisions between the two factions. The deal, welcomed by most Arab states, calls for the formation of a national unity government and the holding of elections.

GCC chief appreciates Palestinian reconciliation

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif al-Zayani on Thursday welcomed a reconciliation deal hammered out in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday by Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian factions.

"I am confident that ending rifts between the Palestinians will be a step in the right direction," al-Zayani said.

"It will help the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights and boost the Palestinians' negotiating position," he was quoted as saying by several Gulf news agencies.

Hamas and Fatah on Wednesday hammered out a reconciliation deal in the Gaza Strip, ending a rift that had persisted between the two Palestinian factions since 2007.

The deal, welcomed by most Arab states, paves the way for the formation of a national unity government and parliamentary and presidential polls.

In Tel Aviv, however, it was not good news.

Commenting on the agreement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah, had to choose between reconciliation with Hamas and peace negotiations with Israel.

Netanyahu added that Hamas only wanted to destroy the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

Al-Zayani, however, said the GCC would continue to support the Palestinian people and what he described as their "just cause."

He said the council would back any endeavor aimed at fostering Palestinian unity and obtaining Palestinian rights.

Relations between Fatah and Hamas had been tense since the latter seized control of the Gaza Strip following deadly clashes with pro-Fatah forces in 2007 – one year after Hamas defeated Fatah in Palestinian legislative polls.

Tunisia supports Palestinian reconciliation deal

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki hailed a reconciliation agreement reached Wednesday by rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas that aims to end years of Palestinian schism.

"Marzouki on Thursday phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and head of Hamas' political bureau Khaled Meshaal separately to congratulate them on achieving reconciliation that will end the period of division," according to a statement by the Tunisian presidency.

In the statement, Marzouki went on to laud "the spirit of high national interest showed by the leaders of Fatah and Hamas to overcome their differences."

Under the deal, Abbas will immediately begin consultations for the formation of a national unity government with a view to unveiling it within five weeks.

Six months after the formation of the government, presidential and parliamentary polls will be held simultaneously in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

According to the terms of the deal, Abbas has the right to set the dates for the polls, as long as they're held at least six months after the formation of the national unity government.

Haniyeh recently declared 2014 "the year of Palestinian reconciliation," announcing that Fatah members who fled the Gaza Strip in 2007 were welcome to return, with the exception of those charged with wrongdoing.

Arab League hails Palestinian reconciliation deal

The Arab League said Thursday that it backs Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the face of Israeli pressures following the signing of a reconciliation deal with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

An Arab League statement quoted Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi as telling Abbas in a phone conversation that the pan-Arab body welcomes the reconciliation agreement between his Fatah movement, which rules the occupied West Bank, and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

"This achievement [the agreement] will boost the Palestinian unity in the face of the serious challenges that face the Palestinian cause at this critical juncture," the statement quoted al-Arabi as telling Abbas in the conversation.

On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement that aims to end years of division between the two factions. The deal, welcomed by most Arab states, calls for the formation of a national unity government to pave the way for presidential and parliamentary polls.

Israel's security cabinet on Thursday unanimously decided to suspend peace talks with the Palestinians in response to the deal.

"The government decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel's destruction," Ofir Gendleman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter.

"Israel will respond to unilateral Palestinian action with a series of measures," he added without elaborating.


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