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Egypt Aims to End Palestinian Division | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Hanieh. (Reuters)

Ramallah – Egypt is adamant on ending the Palestinian division and aims to unite the Fatah and Hamas movements in Cairo in an attempt to reach a unified agreement, said informed Palestinian sources.

The sources told Asharq al-Awsat that Egyptian authorities want both delegations to leave the country in agreement.

The Hamas delegation was about to leave Egypt when authorities asked them to stay, hoping that a meeting will be held with Fatah, even though head of the Hamas delegation said that they will not meet with their rivals.

On Friday, a Fatah delegation that includes international relations official Rouhi Fatouh and official Hussein Sheikh arrived in Cairo. The delegation voiced its intention to avoid meeting with Hamas and said that they were in Cairo to meet Egyptian officials to discuss ideas to achieve national unity.

The movement issued a statement saying that it will focus on meeting with Egyptian authorities and discussing suggestions for a national reconciliation.

Fatah also said it is planning to discuss three demands: dissolving the administrative committee formed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, enabling the Palestinian consensual government to function in the territory and commit to holding legislative and presidential elections.

Earlier, following its meetings with Egyptian officials, Hamas announced it was read to dissolve the administrative committee, enable the consensual government and hold elections. However, the movement wants to hold an expanded conference for Palestinian factions to form a national unity government.

Hamas also stated that President Mahmoud Abbas must end his measures against Gaza. A few months ago, Abbas began a series of procedures against Gaza, including taxation and public servants salary cuts, in an attempt to pressure Hamas to consent to abandon its control of the coastal strip.

It is still not clear whether Egypt would provide solutions with guarantees or not, but it is certain that Cairo wants to end the Palestinian division before initiating a political process in the region.

Several Hamas members arrived at Cairo over the past two days, including national relations official Housam Badran and Maher Obeid.

Badran stated that his movement is awaiting a positive response from Fatah concerning the three demands. He confirmed that Hamas has a clear position on the administrative committee and Egyptian officials are aware of that, adding that the ball is now in Fatah’s court.

Badran also pointed out that his movement’s delegation had postponed its departure from Cairo, granting Egyptian officials the chance to convince the Fatah movement to hold serious talks.