Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Fatah and Hamas movements are set to hold a meeting next week, according to Azzam al-Ahmad, member of Fatah’s Central Committee and head of its delegation for inter-Palestinian dialogue. Al-Ahmad told Asharq Al-Awsat that an agreement was reached with Hamas to hold a meeting between them next week, pointing out that the venue is yet to be agreed on.
The announcement of the meeting comes at a time where the obstacles that prevented the convening of the Damascus meeting between the Fatah and Hamas movements are being tackled according to informed sources, pointing out that efforts are under way to achieve reconciliation between Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after which the Syrian leadership will extend an invitation to the Fatah leadership.
Al-Ahmad told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We and Hamas have agreed to hold the meeting next week,” but he made it clear that thus far, no agreement has been reached on the venue of the meeting, expecting an agreement to be reached on the venue within the next coming hours in light of the contacts taking place between the two movements to convene the meeting in Damascus, Beirut, or Sanaa, particularly since Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has welcomed holding the meeting in Yemen. However, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the contacts to decide the place have not resulted in anything so far in light of Hamas’s insistence on convening the meeting in Damascus and Fatah’s refusal of this. The sources said that the complications that recently took place and prevented the holding of the meeting between Fatah and Hamas movements in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on 20 October, as had been agreed on, are witnessing efforts to overcome them.
The sources added that efforts are under way to achieve reconciliation between President Abbas and Bashar al-Assad, following which an invitation will be extended by the Syrian leadership to the Fatah leadership to finalize the security file within the file of the Palestinian reconciliation. It is noteworthy that an argument has taken place between President Abbas and Al-Assad during the [Arab] summit in the Libyan city of Site, which led to the obstruction of the meeting that was due to be held in Damascus yesterday.
Dr Khalil al-Hayyah, the prominent leader in Hamas, has said in earlier statements that his movement insists on holding the meeting in Damascus, and asked Fatah to abandon its demand to change the venue of holding the meeting. He added: “We agreed with Fatah to resume the last meeting at the same place in which it was held, but regrettably, Fatah demanded changing the venue, and we still insist on holding it in the same place because this is something that has been agreed on in the past and we do not see any justification at all for changing it, and there is no need for politicizing the venue.”