Palestinian leaders to meet in Cairo next month over reconciliation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with the head of the Hamas political bureau next month in Cairo to resume reconciliation efforts, a Fatah central committee member said Wednesday.

Azzam al-Ahmad said Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal are waiting for Egypt to set the date for the meeting and for President-elect Mohamed Morsy to officially take office.

Another Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told the movement's Gaza-based newspaper Palestine that preparations for the meeting are ongoing.

Hamdan said communications between the two factions have continued recently, and that Palestinian reconciliation has come under immense external pressures from the US and Israel.

He said he hopes the developments in Egypt will positively impact reconciliation, and that the country will clear obstacles and fend off external pressures to address unresolved issues.

Fatah and Hamas are expected to reach a consensus on the final list of ministers for the transitional government led by Abbas and to discuss a halt to arrests of Hamas activists in the West Bank.

“What we need is to urgently form a government to set the stage for elections in Palestinian territories. Then Palestinian factions should agree on an official date for elections,” Hamdan said.

Edited translation from MENA

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