World Bulletin/News Desk
Hamas's prime minister in the Gaza Strip said on Friday he was confident Egypt's new president would shield the Palestinian enclave from Israeli attack and fully open its borders to end a trade blockade.
Mohamed Mursi, who won power in last month's presidential election in Egypt, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and ideologically close to Hamas.
The Gazans long complained that his predecessor Hosni Mubarak, ousted from power last year in a popular revolt, sided not just with Israel, but also with their political rival -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.
So far, Hamas has seen little sign of a policy shift since Mursi took office and diplomats said the Egyptian leader had so many domestic problems that he could ill-afford to dedicate much time to re-tooling Cairo's relations with the Palestinians.
However, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas's Gaza government, told worshippers in a mosque that change was coming.
"We are confident that Egypt, the revolution led by Mursi, will never provide cover for any new aggression or war on Gaza," he said. "We are confident that Egypt, the revolution led by Mursi, will not take any part in blocking Gaza," he added.
Mubarak helped police the Gaza blockade and did not let any goods officially cross the border, saying this was part of longstanding accords with Washington and Israel. However, Cairo always turned a blind eye to a thriving blackmarket business with Gaza conducted through a warren of underground tunnels.
A few hundred people cross in and out of Gaza every day via Egypt and the number of passengers has increased since Mursi took office. However, officials on both sides explain this on the start of the holiday season rather than on any policy shift.
Mursi's position will soon be put to test when he meets officials from Hamas and Fatah.
Protocol means that Mursi will almost certainly see Abbas first, with one source saying it would happen on Wednesday. No date has yet been set for a Hamas delegation to be received.
Both President Abbas and Hamas are likely to be pressed by Egypt to end their long-standing hostilities, which at one point saw the two sides fight a brief civil war in Gaza.
"No one can help the Palestinians more than they can help themselves. They should take daring steps to end their rifts," an official in Cairo told Reuters by phone.
Repeated attempts at Palestinian reconciliation have ended in failure, with the two sides at loggerheads on everything from setting a date for elections to cooperating on security.
A source close to Deutsche Bank has said that a fine relating to the 2008 financial crises has been reduced from $14bn to $5.4bn
Government says several multinational oil companies failed to properly declare $12.7 billion in crude exports to U.S.
The Human Rights Council have adopted four resolutions that included creating a commission of inquiry to conduct a thorough investigation into human rights violations and abuses in Burundi since April 2015
Sweden has confirmed it will become the next country to join the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence (STRATCOMCOE) which is based in Riga
Erdogan's historic visit in 2011 was turning point in evolution of security and stability in Somalia, says Mohamud
United Nations assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer said the suffering in northeast Nigeria and surrounding areas was the worst he had ever witnessed.
United Party for National Development MPs say President Edgar Lungu is not legitimate
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gets reactions of Palestinians after he cries over former Israeli Prime Minister President during his funeral
Head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis says community will take Russian prohibtion on parliament to European Court of Human Rights
"All member states greenlight early EU ratification of Paris agreement. What some believed impossible is now real," European Union President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.
The UN refugee agency said now around 100,000 people -- many of whom had fled into the town in search of safety -- could no longer leave after government troops surrounded the area.
Looking drawn and dressed in a dark suit, Ntaganda took his place in the dock behind his defence lawyers at his trial in the International Criminal Court, with a witness giving testimony.
Participation of Shia militias in upcoming campaign to free ISIL-held Mosul could spark sectarian conflict, experts warn
He also reported a sharp drop so far this year to 210,000 people seeking safe haven in the biggest EU economy as of last week.
The Czech leader said Prague was "disturbed by the increase in hateful attacks in Britain aimed at the citizens of EU member states".