Hamas leader says unity talks with Fatah to resume in October

Hamas-Fatah negotiations toward restoring Palestinian unity will resume in October, senior Hamas leader Mashal said.

Hamas leader says unity talks with Fatah to resume in October
Hamas-Fatah negotiations toward restoring Palestinian unity will resume in October, senior Hamas leader Khalid Mashal said during a news conference in Cairo on Sunday.

The Hamas leader Mashal, who lives in exile in Syria, met Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa over the internal Palestinian issue, a Palestinian news agency said.

He said that Hamas and Egypt agreed to proceed with talks with Fatah movement, but said the group would not accept new elections before a deal is reached.

Ma'an reported that he said Egypt is to submit a proposal regarding a potential deal to Hamas and Fatah, which will be the basis for negotiations in early October.

Mashal said his "two days of talks in Cairo with the chief of Egyptian Intelligence services, Omar Suleiman and the Secretary-General of the Arab League focused on two main topics: Palestinian reconciliation and the Arab-Israeli conflict."

On elections, he said, "We found a clear Egyptian understanding of the necessity to go forward with the option of reconciliation, and to proceed with elections afterward when the reconciliation is stable."

"Presidential and legislative elections cannot be held before a reconciliation agreement is reached," he said. "We warned against the risk of holding any arrangement within the PLO to hold elections apart from an agreement [isolating] the issue in the West Bank and leaving out Gaza."

"We are about to take steps toward reconciliation and Hamas is serious in reaching an agreement," he said.

Hamas and Fatah last held talks in Egypt in July. Several rounds of negotiations have failed to close the rift that opened up when Hamas, the winner of the 2006 elections, seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in June 2007.


Agencies
Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2009, 12:15
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