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Friday, January 5, 2007

Haniyeh will not visit Jordan, meet with Abbas as planned

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/haniyeh-will-not-visit-jordan-meet-with.html

Last update - 12:07 03/01/2007   
 
Haniyeh will not visit Jordan, meet with Abbas as planned
 
 
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas plans to cut short a tour of Arab nations, forgoing his planned visit to Jordan where he was to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, aides said Wednesday.
 
Haniyeh plans to return to the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
 
Jordan has offered to host the meeting between Haniyeh and Abbas in an effort to defuse deadly tensions between their rival factions. Both Haniyeh and Abbas have agreed in principle to such a meeting, but no date was announced.
 
The aides said Haniyeh decided to break off his trip after making an Islamic pilgrimage, or haj, to Saudi Arabia, to attend to unspecified "work." They said he would resume the tour, but did not specify when.
 
In addition to traveling to Jordan, Haniyeh was also to have visited Kuwait and Qatar.
 
Haniyeh broke off a previous trip to Jordan in mid-December following a deadly bout of Hamas-Fatah violence. His convoy came under fire at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt as he returned.
 
A shaky cease-fire reached in late December has curbed the fighting.
 
There was no immediate indication of a link between the change in Haniyeh's travel plans and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's scheduled trip to Egypt on Thursday to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egypt has played a major role in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians, and has been trying to negotiate the release of an Israeli Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit captured by militants linked to Hamas in June. Palestinian sources maintained last week that Olmert and Mubarak were planning to announce a finalized prisoner exchange deal on Thursday, but the reports have not been confirmed, and even denied.


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