Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation talks between Palestinian groups have been delayed to allow for more consultations, Egyptian state news agency MENA said on Wednesday.
The talks were to start in Egypt on Feb. 22. The agency quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying the delay would be for a "brief period". It did not give more details.
Ending divisions between the Hamas and the Fatah group of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seen as key to ending an Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip, imposed since Hamas won a Palestinian parliamentary election in 2006.
Hamas official Taher al-Nono said Egypt delayed the talks because Israel rejected an 18-month truce with Hamas.
The Israeli government rejected on Wednesday to open its border siege on the Gaza Strip until the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is released.
"The Egyptian government has delayed the dialogue session because of the recent intransigent Israeli positions regarding the issue of a period of calm," Nono told Reuters.
Egypt and Hamas have said that talks on the exchange of prisoners should not be linked to any possible truce.
Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2009, 15:33