Fatah's Shaath hold talks with senior Hamas leaders in Gaza

08:51, February 04, 2010      

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Nabil Shaath (C), member of Fatah Central Committee, attends a joint press conference with senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya (R) following their meeting in Gaza City, Feb. 3, 2010. Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for a good-will visit to push forward the process of reaching an inter-reconciliation agreement. Shaath's visit is the first by a high-ranking Fatah official since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip by force and routed President Abbas security forces in June 2007. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)


A senior member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party on Wednesday night held talks with senior Islamic Hamas movement leaders in Gaza City.

Nablil Shaath held talks with Khalil al-Hayyah, member of Hamas politburo, and Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha at one of the hotels in Gaza city's beachside where Shaath stays.

The visit of Shaath, who arrived in Gaza earlier in the day, is the first one by a senior Fatah party's leader since June 2007 when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip by force and routed Abbas's security forces from the enclave.


Nabil Shaath (2nd L), member of Fatah Central Committee, shakes hands with senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya (2nd R) following their meeting in Gaza City, Feb. 3, 2010. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)


Shaath told reporters after the meeting that he is not officially authorized to negotiate with Hamas movement in relation to achieving an inter-reconciliation, adding his visit was made upon his group's request.

"The revolutionary council of Fatah movement has urged Fatah members to go to the Gaza Strip," Shaath said, adding "I personally have a wish to visit Gaza and help to end the current division and achieve reconciliation."


Nabil Shaath (L), member of Fatah Central Committee, shakes hands with senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya following their meeting in Gaza City, Feb. 3, 2010. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)


Shaath and the two Hamas officials declined to reveal details of what they had discussed during their three-hour meeting. However, they expressed their optimism to reach an agreement that ends the current internal Palestinian split.

Meanwhile, al-Hayyah told reporters that Hamas welcomes Shaath's visit to the Gaza Strip, adding that "such visits and meetings would contribute to paving the way for improving the ties between Fatah and Hamas."

"More meetings will be held in order to widely discuss all subjects and other issues of Palestinian concern," said al-Hayyah.

Source: Xinhua
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