Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, and Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas, will meet tomorrow in Cairo to discuss reconciliation between the two Palestinian factions. The announcement was made by Yasser Ali, presidential spokesman for Mohamed Morsi. Before the historic face to face talks, the two leaders will have a series of separate talks with Egyptian President.
The meeting tomorrow comes after the major protests of Hamas in the West Bank and Fatah in Gaza between December and January. They were the first since the violent division between the two movements began in 2007 and culminated in the expulsion of their representatives from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
According to Azzam Al-Ahmed, head of the reconciliation program of al-Fatah, Abbas intends to break the current stalemate in the negotiations to end the political division between the two factions.
The mandate of Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority expired in 2009. Currently he holds the position of interim president. The presidential elections for the renewal of the Palestinian Authority were to be held January 24, 2010, but fell through because of the split with Hamas.
The talks between Fatah and Hamas resumed in 2011 with a conference in Cairo that was meant to lead the territories in presidential and legislative elections in 2012. However, due to political differences the agreement was never implemented. At the beginning of 2012, Meshaal and Abbas met in Doha to resume negotiations and sign a new reconciliation program for the election of an interim president who would have authority over the government pending elections. On this occasion, Hamas accused its own leader Meshaal of taking unilateral decisions and rejected the deal.