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What it would cost Abbas to reconcile with Dahlan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is being pressured by a group of Arab states to reconcile with former Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan and by Qatar not to do so.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) gestures as Fatah strongman and lawmaker Mohammed Dahlan looks on (R) after meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 18, 2006. Abbas told Blair on Monday he would push on with plans for early elections despite bitter opposition from the Hamas government. Blair said it was critical that the international community supported the moderate Abbas in the coming weeks. REUTERS/Eliana A
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For the past few weeks, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has faced a bitter dilemma. He is being forced to decide whether to reconcile with his bitter rival, former Fatah senior member Mohammed Dahlan. Regardless of his decision, he will end up the loser.

As Adnan Abu Amer wrote in Al-Monitor Sept. 1, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been heavily pressuring Abbas to end the feud with Dahlan and bring him back to Ramallah, after having expelled him from both the West Bank and Fatah. One of their main arguments is that without a reconciliation with Dahlan, Abbas will not be able to reconcile with Hamas. In short, he must ultimately decide whether he is really interested in reuniting the Palestinian people and ending the schism between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Abbas, however, is reluctant to act.

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