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GI holds conference in Ramallah on opportunities present in the negotiations and the current political situation

19/04/2008: GI holds conference in Ramallah on opportunities present in the negotiations and the current political situation
Date: 19.04.08

On Saturday, April 19th, the Palestinian Peace Coalition-Geneva Initiative held a political conference entitled "Negotiations and the Current Political Situation - Opportunities and Alternatives."

In attendance were some 100 civil society representatives, government officials, ministers, media representatives, and community leaders from across the West Bank. The conference aimed to discuss the impact of political developments following the Annapolis Conference, the negotiation process and siege in the Gaza Strip.

GI co-architect Yasser Abed Rabbo spoke at the conference, stressing that despite doubts over the chances of reaching an agreement by the end of 2008, the Palestinian side should not abandon the path of negotiations. He also said the leadership must keep the Palestinian public informed on developments in the negotiations process.

Additionally, Abed Rabbo called for further efforts to reach a state of national consensus among the Palestinian factions on the basis of the Palestinian national program.

Finally, Abed Rabbo warned that a failure to reach an agreement by the end 2008 may lead to the collapse of the PA and strengthen of the radical forces.

Additional speakers at the conference were Mr. Hana Amira, PLO Executive Committee Member, who focused on the process of national dialogue between Hamas and Fatah, Mr. Hasan Khader, a writer and researcher, who spoke of the political and geographical gap between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Mr. Nazir Mjali, who addressed the political divisions in Israeli society, and former minister Dr. Samih Al-Abed, who discussed the present opportunity to reach an agreement and the dangers facing the negotiation process.