Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Libya in search of unity

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi's presidential election: our team follow incumbent Nkurunziza's campaign trail

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Vote "No" for dignity and democracy ≠OXI

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Tunisia Attack: UK ponders airstrike in Syria; Uber Popped: service suspended after French taxi revolt

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Greece's Choice: Europe holds its breath over Sunday's referendum

Read more

#TECH 24

Testing robots to play, snuggle and learn

Read more

#THE 51%

Jordan: Where a rapist can marry his victim

Read more

Middle east

Egypt: Fatah and Hamas will talk

Latest update : 2009-02-22

Rivaling Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas will hold reconciliation talks in Cairo on Wednesday, a step seen as crucial in lifting the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has announced.

REUTERS - Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation talks between Palestinian groups will take place on Wednesday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Ending divisions between Islamist Hamas and the rival Fatah group of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seen as key to lifting an Israeli-led blockade of the Gaza Strip, enforced since Hamas won a parliamentary election in 2006.

The reconciliation talks were meant to have begun in Egypt on Sunday, but were postponed last week with Hamas blaming Israel’s refusal to agree to a new Gaza truce after its January offensive in the territory to counter cross-border rocket fire.

Hamas drove Fatah out of Gaza in June 2007 after a power struggle that turned violent, leaving Abbas with a truncated mandate in the occupied West Bank.

Fatah has mounted roundups of West Bank Hamas activists. Hamas wants them released as part of the rapprochement efforts.

“In order for the dialogue to succeed, serious work must be exerted to release all political prisoners from the Palestinian Authority jails in the West Bank,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, who also confirmed the Feb. 25 date for the talks.

An official from Fatah, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group could order an imminent amnesty for some Hamas prisoners.

“Under an understanding with Hamas, there will be releases of many Hamas detainees,” the Fatah official told Reuters.

Date created : 2009-02-21

COMMENT(S)