Qatari FM meets with Assad, Mashaal in Damascus

October 6, 2006 02:46

Tiny Arab emirate comes to Syria to try to end the standoff between Hamas and Fatah.

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Qatari FM meets with Assad, Mashaal in Damascus

qatar fm in damascus . (photo credit: )

Qatar's foreign minister held talks on the Palestinian situation Thursday with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas's exiled political leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus. A Hamas official told The Associated Press Thursday that the tiny Arab emirate of Qatar came to Syria to try to end the standoff between the ruling Hamas militant group and the Fatah Party in the Palestinian territories. The official, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the talks, said Qatar sought to "bring the point of view closer between Hamas and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas" and remove tension between the two sides. Conditions in the West Bank and Gaza have rapidly deteriorated since Hamas defeated Abbas' Fatah Party in January elections and Western countries cut off funds to the Palestinian. Violence erupted Sunday when Hamas fighters confronted members of the Fatah-dominated security forces who were protesting the government's inability to pay their wages. Ten people were killed and around 100 wounded in ensuing street battles over three days. Syria's official news agency SANA said Thursday that the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheik Hamad Bin Jaber Al Thani, gave Assad a letter from the emir of Qatar on "the latest developments in the region and bilateral relations between the two countries." It said the two sides discussed during the meeting "the latest on inter-Palestinian dialogue and the need to support Palestinian national unity at this sensitive time in the region."

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