Abbas-Meshaal talks postponed

A meeting between the leaders of Fatah and Hamas is called off after "difficulties".

    Khaled Meshaal, the political head of Hamas, 
    lives in exile in Syria [AFP]

    Meeting agenda

     
    Abbas, who leads the opposition Fatah party, was due to meet Meshaal in an attempt to end growing conflict between the two rival groups.

    The meeting was to take place after Abbas had talks with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.
     
    Abbas and Meshaal were expected to discuss the names of the ministers for interior, finance and foreign affairs in a proposed Palestinian unity government.

     

    Fatah and Hamas have tried for months to agree on a national unity government, in hope of ending a boycott by the United States and the European Union and in order to present a united front towards Israel.

     

    Washington and Brussels consider Hamas to be a terrorist group and suspended direct financial aid to the Palestinians because the movement refuses to renounce violence or recognise Israel. 

    Your Views

    "The only real solution is for everyone to live on the land as equals. In the end, everyone there will have to live together or they will all die together."

    Hartsie, Boston, US

    Send us your views

     

    Tensions between the two factions, which had already claimed a number of lives, boiled over in the Gaza Strip in December, killing more than 30 people in that month alone.

     

    However, violence has tapered off in the past couple of weeks.

     

    Clashes last month began after Abbas called for early elections as a way of resolving the standoff with Hamas, which rejected the move.

     

    Meeting with Syrian leader

     

    Abbas's meeting with al-Assad reportedly ended amicably with the Syrian leader reaffirming his commitment to the Palestinian cause.

     

    Briefing reporters in Damascus, Nabil Amir, Abbas's spokesman, said the two leaders had an "amicable and very frank" discussion that focused on "Palestinian issues in detail and the regional situation".

     

    He reported that al-Assad had told Abbas that he was "attached to  Palestinian national unity and ready to support anything that could help reinforce it, as well as efforts to find an adequate solution to the Palestinian problem."

     

    Syria hosts the exiled leadership of a number of Palestinian groups and could exert considerable influence over Hamas. Meshaal moved to Syria from Jordan after an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.