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Hamas leader Meshaal in Egypt to sign Palestinian unity deal

Khaled Meshaal. Photo: Hasan Sarbakhshian / AP

Source | World Bulletin

Cairo | 03 May 2011

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal arrived in Cairo on Sunday to sign an Egyptian-brokered deal to end a rift between his Palestinian group and President Mahmoud Abbas' rival Fatah, Egypt's state news agency reported.

Egypt has invited Palestinian leaders, including Meshaal, to Cairo for the signing ceremony, due later this week.

It is the first trip by the Damascus-based Hamas leader to Cairo since a popular uprising toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power in February.

The reconciliation accord, which was initialed by senior Hamas and Fatah officials in Cairo last week, calls for setting up a unity government that would run the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip and prepare for Palestinian elections within a year.

Israel got uneasy with Palestinian unity accord and said Abbas must choose between reconciliation with Hamas or peace with Israel.

It was not immediately clear if Meshaal would meet Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, but any meeting between the Hamas leader and Egypt's top political leaders would have been unthinkable when US ally Mubarak was in power.



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