Egypt: Palestinian talks set to resume
Egyptian-sponsored talks to reconcile rival Palestinian factions that were cancelled this week are set to resume in less than a fortnight, a senior Fatah official said on Sunday. Egypt on Saturday declared the postponement of unity talks between Fatah, Hamas and other factions that were to take place in Cairo after Hamas said it would boycott the meetings.
"Based on available information we have from the Egyptians I expect the resumption of Palestinian talks in Cairo in 10 days, or two weeks at the most," Nabil Shaath -- an advisor to Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas -- told reporters in Cairo.
An Egyptian official told AFP that Cairo is in contact with the Palestinian factions after the delay and the meeting would "soon" take place in Cairo. He did not provide a date.
In Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters after a meeting of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet that Egypt's proposal to unify the rival factions must remain the basis for talks.
"There can be no abandoning the Egyptian paper," Abul Gheit told reporters after the Quartet meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. "Egypt exerted efforts. It made a proposal and presented it to the factions for discussion. It was apparent in the last few days there was no political will yet," he said.
Abbas told journalists in Sharm el-Sheikh that the cancellation of the talks was "regretful." "I ask Egypt to continue its efforts, which would lead to a transitional government," he said.