Cairo may host another Palestinian reconciliation meeting soon — Fatah official

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MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Rival Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas may hold another reconciliation meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo in about two weeks, a senior Fatah official told TASS during his visit to Moscow.

“I think that in two weeks, Cairo will invite all factions for talks,” said Rawhi Fattouh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee who took part in the latest round of intra-Palestinian talks in Moscow, said on Tuesday.

He said the exact date of the talks remains unknown. “We are waiting for an invitation from the Egyptian side,” he said.

Commenting on the results of the Moscow meeting, Fattouh said that “at present, it is too early to speak about reconciliation.”

“Regretfully, there have been no progress in negotiations between Hamas and Fatah,” he added.

According to the official, the new Palestinian government, based in Ramallah in the West Bank, will be formed within a month, “or, maybe, two or three weeks.” However, forming a national reconciliation government that would include Hamas members as well is out of question so far.

“We will speak of forming the national unity government once Fatah and Hamas reconcile,” the Palestinian official said.

According to Fattouh, during the two-day consultations in Moscow, the sides have raised all issues of bilateral concern, including Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, relations with Israel and an international conference on Middle Eastern settlement. Those issues were reflected in the final statement signed by all forces taking part in the talks, except the Islamic Jihad movement.

The conflict between two major Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas, broke out after the 2006 parliamentary elections, won by Hamas. Following the 2007 coup, Hamas seized power in Gaza Strip, effectively splitting the Palestinian Authority in two parts – the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-controlled West Bank.

The rival factions signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in the autumn of 2017. The parties agreed that the National Accord Government would assume all powers over all Palestinian territories. The transfer of control over the Rafah Border Crossing on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the West Bank authorities was due to take place as well. Later on, the factions held a few more rounds of talks in Cairo on forming the new government, organizing the elections, reforming the Palestine Liberation Organization and deploying the Palestinian administration’s forces in Gaza. However, the inter-Palestinian reconciliation process once again stalled because of constantly emerging disagreements.

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