Abbas meets Mashaal in Cairo 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hams/Handout)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Qatar on Sunday, AFP quoted Fatah party spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad as saying.
According to Ahmad, the two Palestinian leaders will negotiate potential "reconciliation measures" with the goal of forming a unity government. They will also discuss issues resulting from the "failure of talks” with Israel.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Jordan in January on five occasions. The Palestinians are expected to decide by the middle of the month whether to continue this channel of talks. Israel and the Quartet are in the process of assembling a package of economic gestures
to keep the Palestinians directly engaged with Israel in low-level talks in Jordan.
Ahmad also said that a meeting originally scheduled for February 2 had been delayed indefinitely, according to AFP.
Fatah and Hamas have failed to make progress toward ending their dispute. The two parties have yet to agree on the make-up of the proposed unity government and other issues related to security and elections.
In addition, Hamas has accused the PA of continuing its security clamp-down on Hamas supporters in the West Bank. Hamas officials said Wednesday that PA security forces have arrested more than 70 supporters of the Islamist movement in the past three months.Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.