'Egypt to relaunch Palestinian dialogue'

Abbas tells Mubarak no preconditions for Hamas reconciliation talks, 2 leaders also discuss Schalit.

July 27, 2008 15:34
'Egypt to relaunch Palestinian dialogue'

abbas mubarak 224.88. (photo credit: )


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Egypt plans to relaunch reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday. Speaking after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Abbas told reporters Egypt would start coordinating Fatah-Hamas talks immediately. He added that he had no preconditions for the dialogue. The two leaders also discussed revamping negotiations over captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit and peace talks with Israel. Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Nabil Amr expressed hope that Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman would be able to negotiate a deal to secure the release of the soldier. Meanwhile, Amos Gilad, the head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Political Bureau, told Israel Radio that a media blackout must be imposed on details of the Schalit talks. Abbas's new willingness to enter new talks with Hamas came after he vowed for more than a year not to talk with the Islamist movement unless it first gave up control of the Gaza Strip. Egypt has frequently mediated in disputes between Palestinian factions. Sunday's meeting came two days after a mysterious car bombing killed six people in Gaza and sparked the toughest Hamas crackdown against its Fatah rivals in months. There was no immediate comment from Hamas on whether it will accept Egypt's offer.

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