A senior member of Fatah's Central Committee has said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet the political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal "to speed up national reconciliation". Speaking to official Palestinian radio, Saeb Erekat said that the meeting will take place soon to speed up the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed in May.
Mr. Meshaal and the PA Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, both briefed Mr. Abbas on the details of the prisoner exchange deal agreed with the Israeli government. Of the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners to be released in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit held captive in Gaza since 2006, 27 are women and more than 300 are serving life sentences.
In a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency, the head of Fatah's delegation for reconciliation dialogue Azzam al-Ahmed said, "I have met with brother Meshaal, in the presence of Deputy Politburo Chief Mousa Abu Marzook and a number of other leaders to discuss the latest events." The meeting, he added, was held "without any prior arrangement" but as both parties were in Cairo coincidentally they were keen for it to take place.
Mr Al-Ahmed drew attention to the fact that during his meeting in with Khaled Meshaal an agreement was struck on a set of "practical steps, which will be carried out within a few days, when the President's state visit ends." The intention, he added, is for a meeting to be held to achieve the reconciliation goals.
Source: Jerusalem Press Service