Abbas: New gov't to form within two days

(Xinhua) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday confirmed that a new government will be announced within the next 48 hours.

Abbas' remarks were made during an open meeting with senior officials and members of his Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Abbas added that the government will be formed and his Fatah movement will continue talks with Islamic Hamas movement.

The government will be based in the West Bank and will exclude Hamas which won the parliamentary elections in 2006.

The government will be headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who Abbas asked to form a government in June 2007 after Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of Gaza.

Hamas did not recognize Fayyad's government and considered the upcoming government illegal since it will not be put for confidence voting before the Hamas-dominated parliament.

Hamas also said the new government was a blow to the Cairo-hosted dialogue which looks into forming a unity government. But Fatah said the new government will quit as soon as an agreement reached on a coalition government.

Meanwhile, Abbas said that Fatah's general conference will be held in the West Bank city of Bethlehem or Jericho at the beginning of July. He said the number of participants in the controversial congress would be more than 1,200.

Fatah failed to hold its sixth conference for 20 years and now decided to hold it in the Palestinian territories, after Egypt and Jordan rejected the requests that Fatah members meet on their territories.