Palestinians seek Lavrov backing for reconcilation deal

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Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, will seek Russian backing for a new government after their reconcilation deal at talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday, a delegate said.

"We are expecting that he will show his support for the reconciliation accord and the formation of the new Palestinian government," Bassam Salhi, leader of the Palestinian People's Party, told AFP on the eve of the talks in Moscow.

Salhi said the factions had held talks among themselves over the weekend about the formation of a unity government, without giving further details.

Azzam al-Ahmed led the Fatah delegtion, Mussa Abu Marzuk was in attendance for the Islamsists of Hamas while Maher al-Taher represented the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, according to Salhi.

The factions are due to meet Lavrov on Monday morning where they will try to drum up support from Moscow for the reconciliation accord.

Fatah and Hamas, which rule the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively, were among the 11 signatories to the reconciliation agreement inked in the Egyptian capital Cairo earlier this month.

The accord aims to put a stop to the animosity which has split the Palestinian territories into two camps since 2007 and to pave the way for elections within a year.

But while there has been widespread welcome in Palestinian circles to the reconcilation agreement, Israel has voiced its opposition as Hamas refuses to accept the Jewish state's right to exist.

The new government is not expected to include members of the factions but rather be made up of technocrats who will serve until the elections.

© 2011 AFP

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