Abbas envoys holding secret talks with Mashaal

Envoys of Palestinian Authrity President Mahmoud Abbas have been holding secret talks with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Syria for the past two weeks, in another attempt to form a Palestinian unity government, an official close to the talks said Saturday. Some progress has been made, the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the negotiations with reporters. The envoys, independent lawmaker Ziad Abu Amr and Mohammed Rashid, a former adviser to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, were heading to Damascus on Saturday for another round of talks. If an agreement is reached, Abbas would meet with Mashaal in Damascus, the official said.