Morsi to meet Abbas, Meshaal in Cairo for reconciliation talks
Cairo to witness tripartite meeting between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal to discuss the complex Palestinian reconciliation issue
Ahram Online, AFP, Wednesday 9 Jan 2013
Palestinian makes the V-sign during a rally calling for a reconciliation between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday,15 March,2011 (Photo: AP)
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will meet his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas Political Bureau leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Cairo on Wednesday, Morsi's office has said.
Abbas and Meshaal will first "meet Egypt's intelligence chief before holding a three-way meeting with President Morsi," presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told AFP.
Azzam Al-Ahmed, who is in charge of reconciliation efforts at Fatah, of which Abbas is head, said Abbas was travelling to Egypt at Morsi's invitation to discuss the subject.
Meshaal and aides arrived in Cairo from Doha on Tuesday for a visit of several days, the official MENA news agency said.
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since the Islamist movement seized control of Gaza in June 2007, following its victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections the previous year.
Al-Ahmed told Jordan's Al-Ghad newspaper on Monday that Abbas intends to end the political division between Fatah and Hamas and to end the current 'stalemate' in inter-Palestinian negotiations.
"We hope that Hamas might succeed in stabilising its internal situation as the reconciliatory atmosphere seems stronger than ever, especially after it recently allowed a pro-Fatah rally in Gaza", Al-Ahmed said.
Last Friday, hundreds of thousands of supporters of Abbas' Fatah held a mass rally in Gaza, their first since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2006 after its electoral victory.
Hamas, in a sign of reconciliation with Fatah, permitted the rally to go ahead as the climax of a week of Gaza festivities celebrating the 48th anniversary of Fatah taking up arms against Israel.
The 2011 reconciliation deal agreed in Cairo was intended to pave the way for presidential and legislative elections by May 2012, but political disagreements over who would head a transitional government hindered implementation of the agreement.
Meshaal and Abbas signed a deal in Doha in the beginning of 2012, under which the president would head the interim government. But Hamas leaders accused Meshaal of taking unilateral decisions without their backing and refused the deal.