Khaled Mashaal in Cairo after reconcilliation agreement_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo on Thursday to try to revive a reconciliation pact signed seven months ago but still not implemented.
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The deal had aimed to end a four-year rift that has split the Palestinians ideologically and geographically.
On Wednesday, Hamas
said its position toward Israel would not change after the formation of a
Palestinian unity government.
Hamas also reiterated its opposition to the
appointment of current PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as head of the proposed
Abbas and Mashaal were expected to discuss implementing the reconciliation accord
that was reached between Hamas and Fatah last May.
“Hamas will not change
its position toward Israel, which will remain our enemy,” Hamas legislator Salah
Bardaweel said Wednesday. “Hamas won’t recognize Israel and won’t give up its
If it doesn’t, however, and a unity government is formed,
this will run the risk of endangering EU cooperation with the PA.
Gatt-Rutter, the acting EU representative to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and
UNRWA, said at an EU press briefing in Jerusalem that Brussels was sending
messages to the PA that it would only continue its cooperation with a
Hamas-Fatah unity government if Hamas moderated it positions on Israel. He said
the cooperation he was referring to was both political and economic.
Ambassador Andrew Standley said the EU’s longstanding position that it would not
engage with Hamas until it recognized Israel, abandoned terrorism and accepted
previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements has not changed.