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Middle East

Hamas-Fatah talks postponed

media Mahmud Abbas (L) and Khaled Meshaal (R) Reuters/Hamas/Handout

Key talks between Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on the formation of a new Palestinian cabinet have been postponed. The talks were due to take place in Cairo on Tuesday.

 

The delay is reportedly due to differences over who will head the transitional government called for by a unity deal signed by the rival factions in Egypt last month.

Abbas is said to favour his current prime minister Salam Fayyad despite objections from the Hamas Islamist movement. But Fatah representative Assam al-Ahmed has made no reference to any difficulties saying the delay was intended to eventually move the talks forward.

“The meeting has been postponed until a new date is set in the coming days in order to assure the best atmosphere for the successful implementation of the reconciliation agreement,” he told the French news agency.

Abbas is to visit Turkey on Wednesday. No additional details of the trip have been released.

In Gaza, the head of the Hamas government, Ismail Haniya, played down any suggestion of differences between the two sides.

In a statement he said “this is a sign of the seriousness of the discussions on the make-up of the government and who will head it”.
 

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