BUCHAREST (AFP) – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas Monday renewed calls for the Islamist Hamas movement to sign an Egyptian-drafted reconciliation document that would allow elections to take place.
“I hope that Hamas signs the Egyptian document so that we are able to move towards the organisation of elections,” Abbas said after a meeting in Bucharest with Romanian President Traian Basescu.
Abbas, who is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday in Egypt, reiterated “the importance of inter-Palestinian reconciliation”.
In the last general election in 2006, Hamas unexpectedly routed Abbas’ secular Fatah party.
Under the terms of the reconciliation document, legislative and presidential elections would be held in mid-2010.
The two groups have remained deeply divided since the Islamists violently seized control of Gaza in June 2007 during a week of bloody street clashes, confining Abbas’s authority to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Egypt has made several attempts at reconciliation, but the last round of talks ended in October 2009 when Hamas refused to sign the Egyptian document after it was inked by Fatah.
Hamas has said it will only sign the document with certain amendments, while Egypt and Fatah have refused to reopen the negotiations.