PA satisfied with Abbas-Sisi meeting

Despite reports of tensions, PA chairman meets in Cairo with Egyptian President.

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Dalit Halevi,

Abbas and Al-Sisi (archive)
Abbas and Al-Sisi (archive)
Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday met in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and PA officials were satisfied with the meeting.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, relayed a positive report on the meeting, saying Abbas and Al-Sisi discussed the U.S. initiative to advance the peace process on the basis of the two-state solution.

He added that Abbas noted the "obstacles" Israel is placing in the part of renewing peace talks by, among other things, building new housing units in the “settlements” and establishing a new “settlement” in the Shechem area.

The talks in Cairo also dealt with the internal Palestinian situation in the wake of Hamas establishing an independent entity in Gaza.

Abbas reportedly wants the Egyptians to pressure Hamas to accept the authority of the national consensus government established in 2011 and enable it to exercise its authority and responsibility in Gaza as well as in the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria.

Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup.

A unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.

Since the unity government was dissolved, Hamas and Fatah have held several rounds of reconciliation talks in Doha, Qatar – but with no success.

The meeting between Abbas and Al-Sisi was held despite reports last week that the Egyptian president had cancelled it.

In February, senior PA official and close Abbas confidant Jibril Rajoub was barred from entering Egypt and was deported.

Subsequent reports said that the reason for the tension with Egypt was Abbas's rejection of last year’s efforts to launch a regional peace initiative with the participation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.