Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande depicted as Hitler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

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)