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Monday, 6 February 2012

Abbas to head interim Palestinian government - officials

Mahmoud Abbas in Amman (25 January 2012)Mr Abbas is tipped to head a Palestinian interim government
Rival Palestinian factions have agreed to name President Mahmoud Abbas head of an interim government which would prepare for elections, officials say.
The deal was reached during talks in Qatar on Sunday, between Fatah leader Mr Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A further meeting and a formal announcement are expected on Monday.
A reconciliation deal reached in April last year provided for May 2012 polls.
Correspondents say the issue has been one of the main stumbling blocks to implementing the April agreement, but that it may now be too late to organise May elections.
The reconciliation deal sought to end more than four years of separate governments in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank, ruled by Mr Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority.
As part of the deal, an interim unity government was to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections.