Mursi meets Abbas, Meshaal; holds talks on reconciliation

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal separately.

Updated: Jan 10, 2013, 09:29 AM IST

Cairo: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi on Wednesday met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal separately as the talks focused on the inter-Palestinian reconciliation and the lift of the Gaza siege.

Mursi met Abbas earlier yesterday and discussed Palestinian reconciliation. Discussions also tackled easing the passage of humanitarian aid supplies through the borders to end the suffering of the Gazans.

The meeting was attended from the Egyptian by Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Presidential Aide Essam el-Haddad while from the Palestinian side there were PLO Executive Office member Saeb Erekat, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmed and presidential spokesman Nabil Abu-Rudinah.

The two Palestinian figures also were meeting separately which is the first meeting between the West Bank`s Fatah leader Abbas and Meshaal, who heads the Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip, in almost a year, and is aimed at ending years of bitter and sometimes deadly rivalry.

The two Palestinian groups have been at loggerheads since Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, ousting forces from Fatah, which Abbas leads.

Also on Wednesday, US peace envoy David Hale arrived in Cairo coming from Jordan on a visit to Egypt, as part of a regional tour that included stops in both Ramallah and Amman.

Despite an unsteady internal scene and an economic crisis, Egyptian presidency is hosting a frenzy of regional and foreign affairs activities.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is expected in Egypt on Thursday to meet with his Egyptian counterpart before meeting President Mursi and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb.

He will also hold a meeting with UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.