Abbas discusses Palestinian reconciliation in Tunisia (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/28/12)
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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday discussed Palestinian
reconciliation with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki at the start
of an official visit.
The Palestinian leader was greeted with military honours at the
airport by President Marzouki and president of the National
Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar.
"We have discussed Palestinian reconciliation and the role that
Tunisia can play in order to end the (Palestinian) division," Abbas
Abbas´s Palestinian Fatah faction, which controls the West Bank, and
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, last year agreed to reconcile,
signing in Doha a deal calling for the quick formation of a consensus
government, which would pave the way for presidential and legislative
polls by around May.
But the process has hit repeated snags, with the formation of the
interim government proving thorny.
Abbas was also due to hold talks with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali
whose moderate Islamist party Ennahda won elections in October after
the ouster last year of long-serving Tunisian dictator Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali.
The visit is the third by Abbas to Tunisia since the fall of Ben Ali.
He will commemorate the Tunisians and Palestinians killed during
Israel´s 1985 air raid on the PLO headquarters. Its leader Yasser
Arafat found asylum in Tunisia from 1982 to 1994 after a forced
departure from Lebanon.
After leaving Tunisia, Abbas, who is accompanied by diplomatic
advisor Majdi al-Khaldi, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina and foreign
affairs minister Riyad al-Malki, will travel to Libya to meet the
country´s new leaders. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse.
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