Hamas and Fatah have agreed to renew unity talks in Cairo next month to discuss
ways of ending their conflict.
The decision follows a series of meeting
between leaders of Hamas and Fatah in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syria over
the past few days.
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Last weekend, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with several
Hamas officials in his Ramallah office, including Abdel Aziz Dweik and Nasser
Eddin al-Shaer, the movement’s most high-ranking representatives in the West
Khaled Abdel Majiud, secretary- general of the National Committee
and Alliance of Palestinian Factions, said Monday that Hamas and Fatah officials
who met in Damascus in the past few days had agreed to resume reconciliation
talks in Egypt next month.
He added that Abbas’s recent initiative to
visit the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas leaders would be postponed until the
talks were concluded.
The Cairo talks would be the first since the ouster
of former president Hosni Mubarak.
The Hamas-Fatah talks will focus on
Abbas’s offer to travel to the Gaza Strip, the establishment of a new government
and unified political leadership, and holding presidential and parliamentary
elections, Abdel Majiud said.
He said discussions between the two sides
in Syria had been held in a positive and friendly atmosphere.
leader Mahmoud Zahar, who is currently visiting Cairo, expressed hope on Monday
that Abbas would delay his plan to visit the Gaza Strip until the two parties
reached an agreement.
“There’s a consensus in Hamas about the need to
move forward toward reconciliation [with Fatah],” Zahar told
Zahar, the first senior Hamas official to visit Egypt since
Mubarak stepped down earlier this year, said that the Egyptian “revolution” was
good for the Palestinian cause. He added that the ruling Military Council had
entrusted one of its members to meet with him, and voiced hope that he would
also meet with Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi.
The Hamas leader said
that his movement would like to see Egypt reopen the Rafah border crossing with
the Gaza Strip and release all Hamas prisoners held in Egyptian prisons. Hamas
also wants the Egyptians to reopen their embassy in Gaza City.