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Abbas Postpones Meeting with Haneya
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled a meeting with Prime Minister Ismail Haneya of the ruling Hamas movement scheduled for Tuesday, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.
"The president is not going to Gaza in the near future because he is preoccupied with several appointments," Nabil Abu Rdainah said, adding the president was still insisting that a proposed unity government abide by interim peace deals signed with Israel.

Earlier, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Abbas was intended to go to Gaza for a meeting with Haneya to continue talks on the formation of the unity government that is expected to end fiscal and political crises.

Some officials believed that the cancellation of the planned trip was associated with stance of Hamas, which insists that any agreement on a unity government would not include recognition of Israel.

On Sept. 11, Abbas announced that an agreement was reached with the Hamas movement to form a national coalition government.

However, Hamas said it refused to meet conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by previous peace deals.

Abbas' Fatah movement has accused Hamas of reneging on the agreement.

Abbas said on Saturday that talks with Hamas over coalition government were "back to Zero" and must start from scratch.

Hamas said on Monday that an impasse of such talks could be resolved in two weeks.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2006)

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