Palestinian talks that took place under a positive atmosphere in Istanbul, Turkey, centered on holding general elections, sources with knowledge of the matter reported, adding that Palestinians had agreed to overcome obstacles.
They also added that Fatah and Hamas officials have, in principle, agreed to holding free and fair elections gradually and according to proportional representation.
“Fatah and Hamas officials insist on concluding an agreement within a short period. There is a general consensus on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issuing a presidential decree within 10 days,” sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat.
Sources also predicted that Abbas, in his upcoming Friday address at the UN, will announce his intentions to issue a presidential decree setting a date for general elections. This will end internal divisions among rival factions and unify institutions under the Palestinian law.
Many have highlighted the importance of Abbas’ upcoming speech given that it will touch on the fate of the peace process, ongoing developments, and elections.
Abbas had received positive news about ongoing talks in Turkey, sources stressed.
“There was tangible progress and breakthrough in the dialogue between the Fatah delegation headed by Jibril Rajoub, secretary-general of Fatah's Central Committee, and the Hamas delegation headed by Saleh Arouri, deputy chief of Hamas,” sources commented.
Hamas senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh also partook in the dialogue.
They explained that the breakthrough was achieved through a deep understanding of the need to end disputes at any cost, regardless of the concessions that must be presented.
Palestinian talks are expected to move from Turkey to Qatar.
“Haniyeh and Rajoub are expected to arrive in Qatar on Thursday to continue discussions,” sources noted.
It is noteworthy that the Palestinian Authority seeks to obtain Qatari support for reconciliation talks with Hamas and holding elections. It is also looking to receive financial support.
The last Palestinian general elections were held in 2006.