Hamas accepts Egypt proposal for talks with Fatah
Fatah and Hamas will meet in Cairo on October 25 for Egyptian-mediated talks aimed at forming a Palestinian transitional government acceptable to the rival factions, Hamas said on Thursday. "Fatah and Hamas will meet on October 25 in Cairo under Egyptian mediation to resolve their differences on how to reach reconciliation and end the current Palestinian divisions," senior Hamas official Mahmud al-Zahar told AFP.
Zahar was speaking after talks on Wednesday with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. The Egyptian proposal includes a transitional government made up of ministers acceptable to all factions and a restructuring of Palestinian security forces with Arab oversight.
The proposal also provides for new parliamentary and presidential elections.
"We have reached an agreement in principle with Egyptian officials on the matters that need to be resolved during the meeting," said Zahar. "These matters include forming a government of national consensus (and) the reorganisation of Palestinian security forces, with the help of Arab experts who will be charged with training (the security forces) and coordination."
According to him, Hamas preferred what he called a government of national consensus. "We agreed on a government of national consensus, meaning factions will be represented but (the government) will also include independents and professionals."
The October 25 meeting will be followed by a meeting of all 13 Palestinian factions in Cairo after which the process of forming a government and reforming the security services will last "six to nine months," Zahar said.
He refused to say when legislative and presidential elections might be held. "The essential is to return to the situation of political and geographical unity of before (June 2007)," he said.