Another round of Palestinian unity talks open
Rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah started a third round of reconciliation talks on Wednesday in Cairo aimed at forging a possible unity government, the Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
Egyptian-sponsored talks failed last month on details of the shape and agenda of an interim government that would oversee the rebuilding of Gaza and prepare for elections. According to Reuters, a major sticking point was whether the new government would be committed to peace deals signed between Israel and the PLO.
Nabil Shaath, a senior official from President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, was quoted by MENA this week as saying that the current round of talks would be "decisive." An unnamed senior Egyptian official was also quoted by MENA as saying that other Palestinian groups would be invited for talks in the event of a breakthrough between Hamas and Fatah, the two largest groups.
Palestinian groups meeting in Cairo agreed in principle in March to form a unity government and hold legislative and presidential elections by Jan. 25, 2010.