Egypt intends to restart talks between Hamas-Fatah

Egypt plans to invite leaders of Palestinian groups for talks, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Egypt intends to restart talks between Hamas-Fatah

Egypt plans to invite leaders of Palestinian groups for talks, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday, renewing efforts to heal internal splits and pave the way for elections.

Egypt has been trying to reconcile Hamas, the Islamist group ruling the Gaza Strip, with President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah which holds sway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

"We will invite the heads or the secretary-generals of the (Palestinian) organisations to come to Egypt hopefully soon, one after the other," Aboul Gheit told reporters after talks with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni. He did not elaborate.

Abbas, whose term expires on Jan. 9, said this week in Cairo that presidential and general elections would have to wait until "all chances for dialogue are exhausted".

Abbas decried the rift between Hamas and secular Fatah on Thursday and urged the Islamist group to show "reason" and return to reconciliation talks.

"We don't want to isolate them. They are a part of the Palestinian people, whatever their ideas and vision might be," Abbas said during his first visit as president to Hebron, a Hamas stronghold. "We will not accept going into a civil war."

Hamas requested for bilateral talks with Fata faction amid reunification talks but Abbas rejected it, saying there was no need for bilateral meetings.

Hamas also uerged security services loyal to Abbas to free more than 400 Hamas men jailed in the West Bank. Fatah had not freed prisoners loyal to Hamas.

Egypt delayed the talks over these disputes.

Reuters
Last Mod: 26 Aralık 2008, 08:59
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