Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossam Zaki said that that the Goldstone report on the Gaza war violations is unlikely to affect Palestinian reconciliation and the expected signing of a reconciliation accord.
Zaki told Asharq Al-Awsat that the two issues are completely independent of one another and will no have effect on each other. He said, “We hope it will not have an impact on the positive atmosphere that will allow us to sign an agreement in the next few days.” He stressed that there is determination from Egypt and most Palestinians to end the division and begin a new page.
Asked whether Egypt had received a Palestinian report on the results of the Palestinian-Israeli meetings that were held in Washington, Zaki said that this topic will be discussed in the meeting that will take place today in Jordan between President Mahmoud Abbas and the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Gheit and Minister [without portfolio and head of Egyptian Intelligence] Omar Suleiman.
Zaki confirmed that negotiations were still ongoing in Cairo over the signing of a reconciliation accord between Palestinian factions in the last week of October. He added that the visit of Egyptian Foreign Minister Abu Gheit and Minister Omar Suleiman to Jordan on Monday comes within the framework of Egyptian activity to ensure a final agreement to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and negotiations with Palestinian leadership on the next steps to be taken towards settling the Palestinian cause. He added that Abu Gheit and Suleiman will meet President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Jordan within the same framework.
Zaki highlighted that Egypt will invite the Palestinian factions to sign the agreement in the last week of October in the presence of a number of Arab foreign ministers. The Egyptian Foreign Minister Spokesman said that there will be a lot more work and communication in the upcoming period to finalize the agreement and its support mechanisms and to implement what could bring internal division to an end and begin a new chapter of national Palestinian action.
Asharq Al-Awsat learnt that Egypt is currently preparing a draft agreement that will take into consideration the different positions of Palestinian factions, which will bring about an end to division and create the required consensus.
Zaki mentioned that Jibril Rajoub announced the next stage of the agreement however some Egyptian sources considered this interference, arguing that the Egyptian sponsor should announce everything related to the stages of reconciliation and the signing, so that people do not think that Fatah is the sponsor as it is one of the parties to the agreement.
On his part, Muhammed Nasr, member of the Hamas politburo, told Asharq Al-Awsat by phone that Egypt, at present, is preparing the final draft of the agreement to be signed, indicating that the final draft agreement will take into consideration all the observations made by the different factions, including Hamas.