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What were Abbas’ priorities at the Fatah congress?

The importance that Abbas gave to national issues reflects the priorities that the seventh Fatah congress will give in Palestinian affairs for years to come.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during Fatah congress in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RTSU1Z3

Party congresses are known for two important things: formulating policies and strategies, and electing a new leadership. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dispensed with the leadership issue by getting elected by acclamation and without opposition on the first day of Fatah’s seventh congress, which opened Nov. 29, and then went on to lay out his political views for the way forward.

Abbas’ Nov. 30 three-hour speech laid out the priorities of Fatah and Palestinians and will no doubt become the guiding principles for the movement, as it tries to accelerate the reconciliation efforts with Hamas, hold a Palestinian National Council meeting, appoint a national unity government, and hold presidential and parliamentary elections.

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