London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Palestinian sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has received an invitation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to visit Damascus in order to discuss recent developments in the Palestinian and Arab arena, as well as the peace process, following almost a year of international estrangement. It is assumed that the timing of this visit will be worked out over the course of the following few days. According to the sources that spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, secretly visited Damascus two weeks ago, where he received the invitation [for Abbas to visit].
For his part, Erekat denied reports about the possibility of a meeting sponsored by President al-Assad between Abbas and leader of the Hamas politico-bureau, Khalid Mishal.
Deputy leader of the Hamas politico-bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk confirmed this, and he informed Asharq Al-Awsat that there will be no meetings with Mahmoud Abbas. He also said “we have no objection to meeting with Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] but he refuses to come to Syria and meet with Hamas.”
Other sources said that there is no possibility whatsoever of such a meeting behind held under Hamas sign the Egyptian reconciliation deal [for inter-Palestinian reconciliation] as the Fatah movement has already done.