Palestinian President: Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks difficult
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Friday called reconciliation talks taking place in Cairo between his secular Fatah party and the radical Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza "difficult."
"I do not want to say that there are hurdles or obstacles," he told reporters in Ramallah, reported dpa.
"The talks are difficult and they need effort, good intentions and a real desire to reach reconciliation," he said.
The rival Palestinian factions started talks in an effort to bridge the schism between them and reach reconciliation. Fatah-Hamas relations deteriorated after the Islamist movement's military takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.
Reports from Cairo said the talks, sponsored by Egypt, are facing difficulty, particularly on the issue of a unity government and setting a date for presidential and legislative elections.
Asked about a possible prisoner exchange agreement between Israel and Hamas, Abbas said he heard in the news about the possibility of an exchange, stressing that "any prisoner released is an advantage for us," expressing the wish that all 11,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel be released.