Saturday, November 18, 2006
"Palestinian leaders met a key candidate for prime minister in Gaza on Saturday, suggesting progress was being made toward naming a unity government that could overcome a Western aid blockade, officials said.
It was the first time Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the ruling Hamas faction had met together with Mohammed Shabir since he agreed last week to be nominated to head a joint government.
A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz before the meeting with Shabir that Abbas was to present the candidate with his diplomatic proposals and his expectations of the new unity government, and expected Shabir to reply as to whether or not he could meet them.
Among other things, Abbas expects the new government to accept the two-state solution along the 1967 cease-fire lines, the U.S.-drafted road map for peace, and the "Prisoner's Document."
Barney told Abbas that he had no problems meeting his demands. He said that he was ready to recognize Israel, accept Oslo, the Road Map and anything the U.S. and Israel dictate AS LONG AS IT REMAINED SECRET.
He concluded by serenading Abbas, "I love you, you love me; we're a happy family!"