PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal
are expected to meet later this month to discuss holding presidential and
parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories, a PA official in
Ramallah said Monday.
On Sunday, Mashaal and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail
Haniyeh phoned Abbas to offer their greetings on the occasion of the Muslim
feast of Id al-Adha, the official said, noting this was yet another sign of
improved relations between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction.
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political adviser to Abbas, said the meeting between the two men would take
place in the second half of this month in Cairo.
Hammad said that in
addition to the issue of the elections Abbas and Mashaal will discuss ways of
ending the Hamas-Fatah dispute and reuniting the
claimed Abbas was planning to call
the elections next May.
According to the paper, Abbas has asked Fatah
members and supporters to start preparing themselves for the
However, an aide to Abbas told The Jerusalem Post
could be held as early as March next year.
The aide said Abbas would
discuss the issue of the elections with Mashaal during their upcoming meeting
and try to reach agreement on a date for holding the vote.
the PA presidency were due to be held in January 2009, while the vote for the
parliament was scheduled for January 2010.
But the power struggle between
Hamas and Fatah has prevented an agreement on holding new
Mashaal was quoted by Hamas-affiliated media outlets as saying
he would do his utmost to ensure the success of his talks with
Mashaal said the “current circumstances and the reality on the
ground enhance the prospects of achieving reconciliation.”
In a separate
message to Palestinians on the occasion of Id, the Hamas leader said the
Palestinians in particular and the Arabs and Muslims in general were headed
toward achieving “one victory after another on the way to liberating Palestine
and restoring our lands and rights.”
Abbas recently told members of the
Fatah Revolutionary Council who met in Ramallah that he was interested in
achieving reconciliation with Hamas and holding new elections in the Palestinian
Abbas has repeatedly stated in the past few years that he
has no intention to seek re-election. At this stage, it’s not clear who would
replace Abbas as head of Fatah when and if he indeed decides not to seek a
second term in office.