oPt

PFLP, DFLP say to join Palestinian national unity government

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GAZA, Jul 4, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Leaders of both the Popular Front and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP and DFLP) expressed on Monday their readiness to join a national unity government called by the Palestinian leadership.

Rabah Mhanna, a senior PFLP leader, told reporters that his faction had received an official invitation from the Palestinian leadership to join a national unity government.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei had stated earlier that he is intending to start next week contacts with leaders of Palestinian factions and parties aiming at forming a national unity government.

He said that the aim of forming such a new cabinet is to be united in working together to face the challenges of the intended Israeli army withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank and the evacuation of a total of 25 settlements there.

Mhanna noted that his PFLP leadership did not engage into the details of such participation, adding the group will support any form of a national unity cabinet to follow up the Israeli withdrawal.

He affirmed that an agreement was reached to follow up discussions and negotiations between the PFLP leadership and the ruling Fatah Movement to agree on a joint program through joint meetings to be held in the future.

Meanwhile, Saleh Zeidan, a senior DFLP leader in the Gaza also announced that his group leadership had received the offer and is positively considering the matter.

He said that building a national unity government needs partnership in the decisions and agreement on a joint political program and implementing the decisions of the Cairo Agreement.

Both DFLP and PFLP are members in the executive committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that is chaired by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Zeidan said that his group seeks an activation of the PLO role and a ratification of its strategy.