Reconciliation talks take place in Cairo

Reconciliation talks in Cairo to go on for three days.

WOMEN WAVE flags celebrating Palestinian unity.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
WOMEN WAVE flags celebrating Palestinian unity.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Officials from Fatah, Hamas and 11 other Palestinian factions took part in reconciliation talks in Cairo on Tuesday.
The talks, which are being held under the auspices of the Egyptian Intelligence Services, are slated to last for three days.
According to a report on the official Palestinian Authority news site Wafa, the talks are supposed to review progress made on a deal signed by Hamas and Fatah in mid-October in Cairo.
On October 12, Egypt brokered an agreement between Hamas and Fatah to restore the PA’s governing authority in Gaza. Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting the Fatah-dominated PA from the territory in 2007.
The Wafa report added that issues related to general elections, the PLO and social reconciliation would also be discussed.
However, Hamas spokesman Salah Bardaweil accused Fatah of trying to limit discussions to matters pertaining to restoring the PA government’s authority in Gaza.
“[Fatah] only wants to discuss the process of empowering the government to work [in Gaza] and doesn’t want to discourse about the other issues,” Bardaweil said, referring to meeting between a number of the Palestinian factions that took place Monday night to set the agenda for this week’s talks. “They said that it is essential to empower the government in Gaza before discussing the rest of the issues.”
According to the Hamas spokesman, the rest of the Palestinian factions in Cairo support discussing all issues.
When asked to respond to Bardaweil’s comments, Fatah Spokesman Osama Qawasmeh said his party wants to make it a priority to discuss the implementation of the Egyptian- sponsored deal to restore the PA’s authority in Gaza.
“It is important that we discuss this issue of empowering the government.
That does not mean we want to remove any issues from the agenda, but we want to make sure this issue is discussed,” Qawasmeh said.
At press time, no press releases about the progress of the talks were sent out.