Report: Egypt to resume inter-Palestinian dialogue next month

Other News Materials 29 November 2008 17:17 (UTC +04:00)

Egypt will try to resume the inter-Palestinian dialogue next month to reconcile the rival Hamas and Fatah factions, a Pan-Arab newspaper reported on Saturday, reported dpa.

"Egypt has resumed its contacts with Hamas to overcome the obstacles that prevented the dialogue from being held," the London- based Asharq al-Awsat daily reported.

The dialogue was due to be held on November 10, but Hamas thwarted the initiative, saying it couldn't meet with Fatah while it was clamping down on Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

The dialogue is attempting to overcome the consequences of Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last year and the ensuing political split with the West Bank where President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement has consolidated his power.

Egypt has drafted the agenda of the dialogue, and Hamas has raised several reservations of them.

A Fatah official welcomed the news. "We believe the Egyptian- drafted agenda has become an Arab initiative," Abdullah Abu Samhadana said.

However, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, Mahmoud Zaahr, said earlier Saturday that the Egyptian-drafted paper "is over and Hamas is no longer interested in it."