Abbas, Mashaal hold Cairo meetings with Mursi

Palestinian leaders meet separately with Egyptian president; talks focus on Egyptian efforts to end Fatah-Hamas dispute.

July 19, 2012 03:36
1 minute read.
Abbas and PA delegation meet Mursi in Cairo

Abbas meets Mursi 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday met in Cairo for the first time with newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.

The talks focused on the latest developments in the region and Egyptian efforts to end the Fatah-Hamas dispute, a PA official in Ramallah said. Abbas briefed Mursi on US pressure on the PA to resume stalled peace talks, the official added.

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During the meeting, Abbas reiterated his demand for a freeze of settlement construction and Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution, the official told The Jerusalem Post.

Abbas told reporters following the meeting that he also updated the Egyptian president on the severe financial crisis in the PA. The PA leader said that the $100 million that Saudi Arabia transferred to the PA last week helped ease the crisis.

Referring to the ongoing dispute with Hamas, Abbas said that efforts to form a unity government were hindered earlier this month when the Hamas government decided to suspend the registration of voters in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Elections Commission began registering voters in preparation for new presidential and parliamentary elections before its work was stopped by the Hamas government. Hamas justified the decision by arguing that the PA leadership was not serious about achieving reconciliation and was planning to steal the vote.

Abbas said that Egypt had great interest in ending the Fatah-Hamas dispute because the whole Palestinian issue was linked to Egypt’s national security.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal also arrived Wednesday in Cairo for talks with Mursi on ways of ending the dispute with Fatah.

Hamas sources said that Mashaal was scheduled to meet with Mursi on Thursday.

The sources said they did not know if Mashaal and Abbas would also meet during their stay in Cairo.

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