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Western, Arab countries hail Palestinian reconciliation deal and praise Egyptian efforts to broker it

Ahram Online , Friday 13 Oct 2017
Hammas
(L to R) Hamas' Saleh al-Aruri, Hamas's leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar, Khaled Fawzi, head of the Egyptian Intelligence services, Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah delegation for the talks, and Fatah's Rawhi Fattouh are pictured following the signing of a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo on October 12, 2017. (Photo: AFP)
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Several countries have welcomes the Palestinian reconciliation deal reached by Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, praising the role of Egypt in sponsoring the talks.

The rival factions Fatah and Hamas reached a political reconciliation agreement on Thursday after two days of Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo.

Russia welcomed the Palestinian deal to achieve unity and improve human conditions in the Gaza Strip through a statement by the Russian foreign ministry on Friday, praising the effective role of Egypt in the deal, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

The French and Chinese foreign ministries have also praised Egypt’s role in achieving the deal, with French foreign ministry spokesman Agnes Romatet Espagne noting “the Egyptian authorities’ influential role,” according to MENA.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hua Chunying, expressed appreciation of the Egyptian role in consolidating the Palestinian reconciliation, adding that the latest progress will resume Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, MENA added.

The US State Department also welcomed the deal on Friday, according to Hurra News, with spokeswoman Heather Nauert saying that it is an important step for Gaza to get humanitarian aid, MENA said.

Germany's government spokesperson Steffen Seibert also welcomed the deal, saying that "overcoming the internal division is useful for achieving the two-state solution we support," Al-Arabic Ahram news website reported Friday.

Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain have also cheered the deal which will unify the factions and support achieving Palestinian rights, expressing appreciation for Egyptian efforts.

The Arab League also expressed its gratitude to Egypt in a statement on Thursday, MENA said.

The Arab League also congratulated all Palestinian groups and people on this important achievement that will guarantee the achievement of the Palestinians' goals of " freedom, independence, ending Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, establishing the independent state of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem, on the lines of 4 June 1967," the statement added

Fatah and Hamas agreed to "empower the national unity government to perform its duties in the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank by 1 December 2017 at the latest," as they continue to tackle all the woes resulting from the years-long rift, Egyptian state television reported on Thursday.

Under the new deal, the two sides will form a committee to merge employees of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority with employees hired by Hamas (around 40,000-50,000), including security personnel.

On the fuel crisis in Gaza, the two sides have initially agreed that Egypt and Israel will supply fuel to the enclave until a final deal on the matter is reached. Hamas will hand control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt to Fatah's Palestinian Authority.

The deal did not address the issue of arms of resistance. Hamas has thousands of well-equipped fighters who have fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Last month, Hamas handed administrative powers in Gaza to a Fatah-backed government and agreed to hold general elections in order to end the decade-long split.

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