Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Palestinians begin meeting in Cairo to end split

Palestinians begin meeting in Cairo to end split

Delegates from rival Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo on Tuesday for talks on bringing the Gaza Strip under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

It said the talks were held "out of a sense of national responsibility and in response to the aspirations of the Palestinian people looking for an end to the division, achieve national unity and strengthen the steadfastness of our people".

Despite Netanyahu's opposition, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said on Sunday the Egypt-backed reconciliation talks between the PA and Hamas are "preparation" for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Two senior Hamas officials, including Gaza leader Yehiyeh Sinwar, crossed into Egypt on Monday for the talks.

Sissi, who last month met with Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY, has stressed that he believes reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas could pave the way for Middle East peace.

Both sides voiced optimism as talks began in the Egyptian capital, with a top Hamas representative saying he was "full of hope" for reconciliation.

Azzam Al Ahmad, who heads the Fatah delegation, told media persons earlier that the main point of discussion would be "empowering the government in Gaza". Fatah officials were also traveling to Egypt from their base in the West Bank.

He said that the key issue that was agreed upon for the dialogue agenda was enabling the government to operate in the Gaza Strip, reported the Palestinian news agency (WAFA).

"The objective of negotiations is to start implementing agreements to allow Palestine's national unity government to perform its functions in the fields of economy and security in the Gaza Strip in the same way as it happens on the West Bank of the Jordan River", Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi told Sputnik.

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