Haniya heads to Damascus for talks
Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, has met Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, in Damascus to discuss efforts to form a unity government.
The official SANA agency reported on Monday: "The meeting affirmed the need to support the Palestinian people fully and work on breaking the siege imposed on them.
"Shoring up Palestinian national unity is also paramount in delicate circumstances such as these."
Haniya, of the ruling Hamas movement, is in the Syrian capital on a regional tour, the first since he took office in March.
Khalid Mishaal, Hamas's exiled leader, lives in Syria along with several high-level members of the group, which is locked in a dispute with the Fatah movement over forming a new government.
Palestinian politicians say Syria has been gently pushing Hamas to compromise on the issue; but Hamas leaders say the group is entitled to key positions in the government that reflect the fact it was elected into parliament.
Haniya said in Cairo last week that talks on a government of national unity would not run into a dead end.
Haniya arrived in Damascus on Sunday from Qatar, which agreed to pay salaries of 40,000 Palestinian education workers for several months, helping to ease an economic crisis caused by Western sanctions and an Israeli blockade.
Labels: Berita, Luar Negeri, Palestin