New Palestinian government will respect PLO accords, Abbas says


President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the next Palestinian government will respect agreements signed by the PLO, a reference to the peace accords with Israel.

“The next government will remain committed to the obligations and agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation,” Abbas said, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

In 1993 Abbas signed on behalf of the PLO the Oslo Accords with Israel that paved the way for the creation of an autonomous Palestinian Authority, which he now heads.

His comments immediately drew an angry reaction from the Islamist movement Hamas, whose spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said they “violate” the agreements between Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

Meshaal signed an agreement with the Palestinian president earlier this month in the Qatari capital placing Abbas at the head of an interim government charged with organizing elections later this year.

“The remarks made by Abbas are rejected and violate the agreements because the next government is a national unity government. It is everyone’s government, not one of a particular political group,” Abu Zuhri said.

“The next government is a transitional government with clear duties... It has no political program,” he said, stressing that the next government should only organize upcoming legislative and presidential elections.

The Doha deal has been hailed as a step forward in the stalled implementation of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo last April.

But it has come under fire from some Hamas members in Gaza and some independent lawmakers opposed to seeing Abbas become prime minister.

Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Council of Abbas’s Fatah faction on Saturday issued a statement declaring the incumbent president its sole candidate for the next presidential elections.

“The Fatah Revolutionary Council unanimously decided that president Mahmud Abbas will be Fatah’s candidate for the next presidential election,” said the statement published by WAFA.