Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Final" talks for Palestinian reconciliation scheduled

The final round of Palestinian unity talks in Cairo has been scheduled for early July in an attempt to meet a July 7 deadline by the Egyptian government. Both Hamas and Fateh agreed earlier to suspend political arrests of opposing factions' members. Previous high-level meetings in Cairo have resulted in abysmal failures as the factions were unable to come to agreement on any of the numerous issues in the way of Palestinian unity. Fateh and Hamas met today, on the two-year anniversary of Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip to begin making preparations for successful talks in Egypt.

Recent clashes between Palestinian Authority security forces and Hamas gunmen in the West Bank city of Qalqilya left nine dead and further soured relations between the two rival factions.

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