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Egypt's intelligence chief invites Fatah and Hamas to meet in Cairo next week

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Oct 2017
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Egyptian intelligence chief and presidential special envoy Khaled Fawzy has returned back to Cairo, following a visit to Gaza and Ramallah on Tuesday to oversee the implementation of the national reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which came with Cairo's collaboration.
 
Before concluding his visit, Fawzy invited Hamas and Fatah leaders to meet in Cairo next week to discuss further moves in reconciliation, which is set to include another comprehensive meeting for all Palestinian factions to activate a reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo in 2015.
 
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh accepted the invitation, saying it gives hope for Palestinians to "forever turn the page on the dispute."
 
Fawzy held meetings on Tuesday with the President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as well as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
 
The Egyptian official expressed Egypt's commitment to support any sincere efforts aiming to unify the Palestinian people, thanking all Palestinian factions for their positive response toward the efforts of reconciliation.
 
Hamas had previously demanded that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas halt a series of measures taken against the movement before sitting down to discuss reconciliation.
 
During a visit to Cairo last month, Haniyeh announced his movement is ready for a reconciliation agreement with its rival Palestinian faction Fatah without any preconditions.
 
As a first step on the track to Palestinian reconciliation, Hamas is set to hand over power in the Gaza Strip to a Palestinian unity government.
 
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Rami El-Hamdallah chaired the first meeting of the Palestinian cabinet in Gaza for three years in a move towards reconciliation between the mainstream Fatah party and its Islamist group Hamas.
 
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 in fighting with Fatah forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas and has ruled the besieged strip of 2 million people since then.
 
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