Saudi FM calls on Hamas, Fatah to Mecca meeting

The Saudi foreign minister on Tuesday urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and his rival Hamas to accept an invitation to a Saudi-mediated reconciliation meeting in Mecca aimed at resolving the Palestinians political crisis. Abbas' Fatah movement and Hamas have both welcomed the invitation, first made on Sunday by Saudi King Abdullah, but no date has been set for a meeting. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said he hoped the two sides would "respond to the halt in the shedding of Palestinian blood" and urged them to "quickly hold the meeting in Mecca to speak frankly with one another and explore" solutions. Talks in Mecca, Islam's holiest city, under the invitation of the Saudi monarch would put added pressure on Hamas and Fatah to reach a solution in their power struggle. Weeks of talks - with mediation from Saudi Arabia and Egypt - aimed at forming a national unity government have been deadlocked.