The unity deal does not mention "peace agreements" in contradiction to this article. The charge to the new government states that it should "respect past agreements." The word "peace" is not mentioned. There are in fact no peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. There are only agreements that provide a framework for peace negotiations. The formation of a government based on "international legitimacy" - a phrase that can mean anything - might lead to European acceptance, though it would be a clear violation of quartet conditions. Of course there is always the possibility that they will accept all the conditions and then violate them...
Last update - 23:22 28/02/2007
Abbas hopes to work with Hamas to gain support for new gov't
By The Associated Press
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday he hoped to work with his rival Hamas on finding a way to present a more internationally acceptable Palestinian unity government.
The power-sharing deal, reached in Saudi Arabia in February between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah party, falls short of international demands that the Palestinian government renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.
The unity deal only says the government will respect past peace agreements, and Hamas has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel.
"We have to form the government and it will be formed before due time," Abbas said in this Jordanian capital. "Until then we have to work on many issues that will help us to present the government to the world in a better way." He did not elaborate.
Abbas, who arrived in Amman Wednesday, briefed Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit on his European and Arab tour to lobby the West to support the unity deal.
"Palestinians will be committed to the international legitimacy and will ask the other to do the same," Abbas told reporters, referring to Israel.
Later, Abbas met in his Amman residence with the EU's External Affairs Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who arrived from Ramallah for a two-day visit to the kingdom.
After the talks, Ferrero-Waldner told reporters that the EU has never abandoned the Palestinian people.
The European commissioner said that the agreement between Hamas and Fatah was an important step forward, because "this has helped to bring calm to a very difficult situation that might have really gone to a civil war, which I think is in the interest of nobody."
Ferrero-Waldner also urged the upcoming national unity government to respond to the demands of the Quartet of Mideast peacebrokers - EU, Russia, U.N. and U.S. - which has called on Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.
Ferrero-Waldner is expected to meet with Jordanian foreign minister Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib and other senior officials on Thursday. Abbas is expected to return to the Palestinian territories on Thursday.