08 June 2009

HAMAS Talks In Egypt

Mashaal to visit Cairo Monday

GAZA, June 8 - Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal to arrive Cairo on Monday to discuss the internal Palestinian crisis with Egyptian mediators.

Meshaal received an Egyptian invitation along with a group of Hamas officials to visit Cairo for talks, two days after Egypt held separate talks with Fatah, source report.

The discussions followed deadly clashes between Hamas and pro-Abbas forces last week in the West Bank, in which four Hamas members, four Abbas men and a civilian were killed.

Abbas forces attacks are the worst against Hamas members since three years in the West Bank.

The renewed tension put Egyptian efforts to reconcile Hamas and Fatah at risk. The talks Meshaal and Egypt were going to hold would focus on the aftermaths of the West Bank Abbas attacks.

In February, Egypt succeeded in launching the first official talks between Hamas and Fatah in two years. The two sides hope to reach an agreement to restore political unity to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Egypt had urged the Palestinian factions to sign a national unity deal on July 7, but Hamas was considering withdrawal from the dialogue due to the violence flare-up in the West Bank. link