Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has praised the Egyptian government's efforts to achieve national reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, stating that Egypt is the only country allowed to intervene in Palestinian internal affairs.
Abbas made the comments on Monday in an interview in Ramallah with anchor Lamis El-Hadidi on the Egyptian CBC TV show Hona El-Asama.
"We do not accept any interference from any country in our internal Palestinian affairs, except for Egypt, because its interference is accepted by all parties involved, whether us [Fatah] or Hamas," he said.
"Egypt is so important to us because Palestine is part of its national security. We do not accept any others interfering, except for it."
The comments follow the arrival on Sunday of a delegation of Fatah and Palestinian unity government officials in Gaza for the first time in three years to launch a unity government, a development resulting from talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo over several months.
Two weeks ago, Hamas dissolved its administrative committee running Gaza, making way for a Hamas-Fatah unity government in Gaza.
Hamas said it had also agreed to hold general elections in order to end the decade-long split between the two rival groups.
Abbas said he did not know when he would visit Gaza.
"Despite our ideological differences with Hamas, in the end it [Hamas] is part of the Palestinian people," said Abbas, commenting on the need for reconciliation.
He added that if the members of Hamas wanted to join the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF) then they must be committed to the policies of the organization.
Asked about the issue of Gaza border crossings, the Palestinian president said the Palestinian Authority is currently responsible for the crossings, as well as security and ministries.
On security within the strip, Abbas said there should be just one authority in possession of weapons and one set of laws.
"I won't allow the cloning of Lebanese Hezbollah in Palestine," he said.
Abbas said that all outstanding issues would be worked out between Hamas and the various Palestinian political parties, in line with the Palestinian reconciliation deal worked out in Cairo in April 2011. Such issues include the flow and possession of weapons, as well as border crossings.
Abbas also revealed that the Palestinian Authority would not allow or accept any funding from Turkey, Qatar, Iran or any other country.
"No funding will be allowed, except through the legitimate Palestinian Authority," he said.