Hamas has started reconciliation talks with Fatah, says leader

MENA | Al-Masry Al-Youm
Mon, 04/04/2011 – 16:45
<p>Wafd Party Chief al-Sayyed al-Badawi (C), after meeting with senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar, Wafd Party, Giza, 30 March, 2011. Al-Badawi received a Hamas delegation presided by al-Zahar. Number of Wafd and 25th January movement members attended the meeting at which they discussed various Palestinian issues.</p> 

Photographed by Mohamed Hesham

Hamas has initiated talks with Fatah regarding a potential Palestinian reconciliation, Hamas leadership member Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Monday.

State-run news agency MENA reported al-Zahar said the talks began in Gaza on Sunday.

“We’re determined to reconcile. We want reconciliation so as to take control of the Palestinian situation,” al-Zahar said.

Egypt, which is mediating the talks, indefinitely postponed the signing of a reconciliation agreement after Hamas rejected it on 15 October 2009.

Under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian government refused to discuss Hamas’ reservations, insisting it sign the agreement with the pledge that its comments would be taken into account during the agreement’s implementation — a suggestion Hamas rejected.

Egypt, according to al-Zahar, informed Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions that it will not directly participate in the talks, as it had before. He added that Egypt has said it will let Palestinians decide on an agreement themselves at any place they chose, which would be announced from Cairo.

Al-Zahar, heading a Hamas delegation that also includes Khalil al-Hayya, concluded his visit to Egypt after meeting a number of officials including Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi.

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