PA confirms Abbas, Mashaal to meet this month

Fatah and Hamas leaders to meet in Cairo to discuss upcoming elections, Palestinian Authority news agency reports.

PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled  Mashaal 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
The Palestinian Authority confirmed on Friday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal will meet later this month in Cairo, the official PA news agency reported.
The two were expected to discuss holding general elections next year.
RELATED:Abbas, Mashaal to meet to discuss Palestinian elections The two Palestinian leaders will meet for the first time since the leaders of the rival Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo last May.
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 Palestinians.
London-based Al-Hayat 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 vote.
However, an aide to Abbas told The Jerusalem Post the elections 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.
Elections for 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 elections.
Mashaal was quoted by Hamas-affiliated media outlets as saying he would do his utmost to ensure the success of his talks with Abbas.
Mashaal said the “current circumstances and the reality on the ground enhance the prospects of achieving reconciliation.”