The main Palestinian parties today announced a deal to form a national unity government prior to the holding of elections, after three days of reconciliation talks in Moscow.
"We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on (Palestinian leader) Mahmud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government" of national unity, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a press conference, speaking in Arabic.
After the government is formed, the Palestinians would set up a national council, which would include Palestinians in exile, and hold elections.
"Today, the conditions for (such an initiative) are better than ever," said Ahmad.
The non-official talks in Moscow began on Sunday under Russian auspices with the goal of restoring "the unity of the Palestinian people". Representatives came from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other factions.