Last updated: 1 May, 2012

Abbas says Arab Spring will impact Palestinians

The rise of Islamist parties across the region in the wake of the Arab Spring will have consequences for the Palestinians, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said Tuesday in Tunis.

“The rise to power of Islamist forces in revolutionary countries will no doubt impact on the Palestinian issue,” the head of the Palestinian Authority said during a four-day visit here.

Abbas’ Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, and the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, reached a deal last year to reconcile but the process has hit repeated roadblocks, with the formation of a consensus government proving thorny.’

During his visit, Abbas has held talks with President Moncef Marzouki and Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, notably on ways in which Tunisia could support Palestinian reconciliation.

Jebali’s moderate Islamist party Ennahda won elections in October after the ouster last year of long-serving Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the Arab Spring’s founding uprising.

The visit is the third by Abbas to Tunisia since the fall of Ben Ali.