Abbas arrives in Egypt for meetings with President Sisi and Palestinian factions

Amr Kandil , Saturday 29 Jul 2023

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in New Alamein on Saturday to hold talks with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and attend unity talks with top representatives of Palestinian factions on Sunday.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. AFP
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. AFP

The meeting between El-Sisi and Abbas is part of the continuous coordination between the leaderships in the two countries to confront the challenges the Palestinian people face in obtaining their inalienable rights, according to a statement by the Palestinian embassy in Cairo.

Egyptian-Palestinian coordination also seeks to allow the Palestinian people to achieve the right to self-determination and establish their independent state that enjoys full national sovereignty over all its lands with Jerusalem as its capital, added the embassy.  

The embassy further noted that “the president’s visit reflects the continuous consultation and coordination with his brother, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on the relations between the two states and the multiple issues at the Arab, regional, and international levels.”

A delegation of Palestinian officials accompanies Abbas during his visit, including Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Hussein Al-Sheikh; PLO’s Executive Committee member Ziad Abu Amr; and Head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service Majed Faraj.

Other officials in the Palestinian delegation include Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Adviser to the Palestinian President for Religious and Islamic Affairs; Majdi Khalidi, Advisor to the President for Diplomatic Affairs; Ahmad Assaf, the General Supervisor of the Official Palestinian Media; and Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Diab Al-Louh.  

Unity meeting

Another delegation representing the Hamas movement, headed by its leader Ismail Haniyeh, also arrived in Egypt on Saturday to participate in the Palestinian factions’ secretaries-generals' meeting, Hamas announced in a statement.

The meeting will be held in New Alamein, according to Hamas.

Hamas’s delegation includes deputy chief Saleh Al-Arouri and political bureau members Mousa Abu Marzouq, Khalil Al-Hayya, Husam Badran, and Rawhi Mushtaha.

“In this meeting, Hamas seeks to unify the Palestinian position and reach consensus on a unified national strategic plan to confront occupation,” the statement read.

A third delegation from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest faction within the PLO, arrived in Cairo to participate in the meeting.

In a statement issued Saturday, Deputy Secretary-General of the PFLP Jamil Mezher said his faction will “do its best alongside the participating forces to reach a specific agreement that allows the Palestinian people and their forces to unite against the fascist policies and measures of the (Israeli) government.”

During the meeting, the PFLP will call for “the formation of a unified comprehensive resistance leadership with the participation of all forces,” Mezher said.

The resistance leadership “will be followed by protection committees to defend our people in the Palestinian cities, villages and towns who suffer from assaults by the Israeli forces and the fascist settlers,” he added.

Palestinian President Abbas had called for this meeting following the deadly Israeli attack on the Jenin camp in the West Bank.

Both Abbas and Haniyeh met in Ankara on Wednesday in the run-up to Sunday's crucial meeting.

A Palestinian official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said the talks aim to "end the divisions (between factions) in preparation for a unified Palestinian government and presidential and general elections."

Haniyeh's spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP that Hamas sought to "unify the Palestinian position" under a strategic plan to "confront the Israeli occupation in light of the aggression of its extremist government."

Egypt has hosted several meetings of the Palestinian factions over recent years in an attempt to end the internal division that began in 2007. 

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