Fatah rejects Hamas call for bilateral talks
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction has rejected a request by rival Hamas party to meet ahead of unity talks planned for next month in Cairo, Fatah officials said on Tuesday. "Hamas has tried to change the Egyptian plan by requesting a bilateral meeting with Fatah which excludes the other 11 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) factions. We adhere to the Egyptian plan which calls for a meeting of all the factions," a senior Fatah official told Reuters.
"We don't object to holding a bilateral meeting with Hamas after the comprehensive meeting taking place," he said.
Abbas has not sanctioned any meetings between his Fatah group and Hamas and has insisted that such meetings would only take place after Hamas quits control of Gaza Strip, officials said.
Hamas' top negotiator, Musa Abu Marzouq, said his movement had agreed with Egypt's "vision" for a joint Gaza government, but wanted other factions to join rather than for it to be non-partisan.