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Abbas to meet Hamas chief next month

(Xinhua)

11:19, January 19, 2012

GAZA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo next month, an official of Abbas' Fatah party said Wednesday.

Azzam al-Ahmed, a Fatah official, told Voice of Palestine Radio that the two leaders will meet to settle obstacles that delay the implementation of a reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt in May 2011.

In accordance with the pact, the two sides should form a unity government, hold elections and reform the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to end the political split in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian factions agreed initially to hold elections by May 2012. However, they failed to implement the main article of the agreement: a transitional government ruling Gaza and the West Bank until the elections.

The meeting between Abbas and Mashaal will take place shortly before another conference in Cairo to look into the activation of the PLO.

An Egyptian security delegation will visit Gaza and the West Bank within days to monitor the process of reconciliation on the ground, al-Ahmed said.

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