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Wednesday March 9, 2011 11:01 AM (EST+7)
Shaath: 'We want Hamas removed from terrorism lists'

Read more: Hamas, terrorism, Nabil Shaath, European Union, EU, unity government, Fateh-Hamas conflict, Hamas-Fateh conflict

RAMALLAH, March 9 (JMCC) - The Palestinian Authority has discussed with European diplomats the possibility of removing Hamas from international terrorism lists, negotiator Nabil Shaath told reporters in Cairo, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The move would be key for Hamas to join a Palestinian unity government, an idea fielded by prime minister designate Salam Fayyad in recent days.

“We are seeking to have Hamas removed from the list of terror organizations,” he said. “We want EU countries to recognize a Palestinian unity government that would include Hamas and other factions.”

Sha’ath said that his Fatah faction was keen on ending the dispute with Hamas.

“The current circumstances require us to reorganize our Palestinian home,” he added. “I have announced several times that we have accepted the Egyptian [reconciliation] initiative. We have agreed to a national unity government [with Hamas] that would implement the Egyptian document and prepare for elections.”

Palestinian leaders are facing grassroots pressure to end the factional division between Hamas and Fateh, which has left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip and Fateh dominating the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Shaath's comments come after Fateh issued a statement rejecting Fayyad's proposal for a unity government, however. 

While Fayyad sought a unity government based on existing security understandings in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Fateh prefers a more comprehensive agreement based on talks mediated by Egypt.

Hamas leaders in Damascus have said that the Egyptian talks became defunct along with the presidency of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. 






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