Fatah and Hamas said Wednesday that they were close to reaching agreement on the formation of a Palestinian "national consensus" government that would be headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Nabil Sha'ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that "real progress" has been achieved in the past few days to end the power struggle with Hamas.

A Fatah delegation headed by Azzam al-Ahmed has been holding intensive negotiations with Hamas leaders in Cairo under the auspices of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service.

Sha'ath said that the two sides were very close to reaching agreement on the formation of a new government that would pave the way for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories.

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