Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Far right at the gates of power in Austria

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE 24 turns 10: A look behind the scenes

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia's Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat in presidential polls

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gambians herald 'new independence' after Jammeh defeat

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Hollande, the One Term President (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Keeps 'Em Guessing, Italian Referendum, Austrian Election, Castro's Death (part 2)

Read more

FASHION

Discovering the winter 2016/2017 men's fashion collections in Paris

Read more

ENCORE!

Rendez-vous on '42nd Street' as the meta musical comes to Paris

Read more

REPORTERS

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

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)