Abbas and Meshaal in Cairo for talks

Leaders of Fatah and Hamas hold separate meetings with Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

    Abbas and Meshaal in Cairo for talks
    The Palestinian leaders will discuss the terms of a long-delayed reconciliation agreement [EPA]

    The leaders of Fatah and Hamas held separate meetings in Cairo with the Egyptian president in the latest round of reconciliation talks between their long-divided factions.

    Egyptian officials had hoped to coax Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal into a three-way meeting with president Mohamed Morsi.

    The two factions signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in mid-2011, but the main points of the agreement have not been implemented.

    Speaking after Morsy's meeting with Abbas, Egyptian presidential spokesperson, Yasser Ali, gave no indication of any major progress, but said Cairo would spare no effort to bring about reconciliation.

    Officials from Hamas and Fatah both tried to downplay the talks as well. Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri described them as "exploratory."

    "Egyptian officials aim to explore where things stand and look into the best ways to activate reconciliation efforts," he told the Reuters news agency.

    The parties have been at odds since 2006, when Hamas won a majority of seats in legislative elections. Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

    Ties have slowly begun to improve, with Hamas recently allowing Fatah to start holding rallies in Gaza, and PA allowing Hamas supporters to do the same in the West Bank, which they control.

    It is too early to say whether the modest concessions foreshadow more meaningful political reconciliation. 

    The Hamas delegation also met with Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

    Egypt negotiated the truce that ended an eight-day Israeli military offensive in November in the Gaza Strip, which left more than 150 Palestinians and six Israelis dead.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.