Fatah, Hamas resume reconciliation dialogue in Cairo
Leaders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and the Islamic Hamas movement met in Cairo Sunday over implementing an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact signed in May, an official said, DPA reported.
Fatah delegation chief Azzam el-Ahmad told Voice of Palestine Radio that he hoped the sides would be able to make some progress.
Since endorsing the long-awaited reconciliation pact, the parties have been unable to agree on an interim unity government, which should prepare for new elections in 2012.
The main argument is over who should be prime minister. Fatah recommended Salam Fayyad, the current premier of the West Bank-based caretaker government, but Hamas rejected this.
It is the first session between the two rival groups since June 14. According to al-Ahmad, senior Egyptian officials will join Sunday's meeting.
"The meeting is to discuss the entire reconciliation pact, all its files and the outstanding issues. We will debate the implementation of the pact as well as removing all obstacles that obstruct implementing the pact," said al-Ahmad.
Al-Ahmad heads the Fatah delegation, while Musa Abu Marzooq, based in Damascus, is heading Hamas' representation, which includes leaders from Gaza as well.
In May 4, Fatah and Hamas signed the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact in Cairo. The deal ends four years of division between the two groups, which has resulted in a de facto split between the West Bank, governed by Abbas, and Gaza, ruled by Hamas.
Under the deal, the two sides agreed to form a one-year transitional government of technocrats. Its goal is to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections and to end the blockade of Gaza.