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Palestinian FM: Hamas, Fatah Negotiations Postponed
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Visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar said in Damascus on Tuesday that negotiations between his own Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Fatah Movement on a unity government was postponed for a few days to study new suggestions, the official SANA news agency reported.

Zahar made the remarks after meeting with Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara. He did not elaborate on the suggestions.

Zahar said that until now there is no plan to hold a meeting between exiled Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, Zahar reasserted that Hamas would not concede its principles while stressing Hamas' support to the unity government.

"We welcome any call in the framework of facilitating the forming of the government, but Hamas' stances and principles will not change," Zahar said.

For his part, Shara renewed during the meeting Syria's call on the Palestinian factions to achieve a national concordance to boost the Palestinians' steadfastness, according to SANA.
Shara also underlined the need of the international community to take practical measures to lift the unfair siege imposed on the Palestinian people, SANA reported.

On Tuesday, Palestinian Minister of Information Yousef Rizqa, however, said that negotiations on the formation of a national unity government did not collapse, adding that there were several unresolved points in this respect.

The negotiations will be resumed after the return of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from the Saudi kingdom, Rizqa noted.

(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2006)

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