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Abbas, Mashaal meet in Cairo

Jan. 9, 2013 at 6:34 PM

CAIRO, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met in Cairo as Egypt's president pressed the two to resolve their differences.

President Mohamed Morsi recently initiated an effort to settle disputes between Abbas' Fatah party and Mashaal's Hamas organization. Wednesday's discussions, which included senior officials from Fatah and Hamas, centered on possible implementation of the terms of a reconciliation agreement Abbas and Mashaal accepted last year, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The agreement provides for a unity government for Palestine, headed by Abbas, but efforts to implement the accord have failed and each side has blamed the other for that, the newspaper said.

Fatah has accused Hamas of disrupting plans for elections in the Gaza Strip and Hamas says PA forces routinely harass its supporters in the West Bank. In addition, many Hamas officials had consistently opposed naming Abbas leader of a new unity government.

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