Last update - 15:02 31/03/2009     

      Palestinian factions return to Cairo for unity talks  
      By DPA  
      Tags: Fatah, Israel News   

      Representatives of rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah returned to 
Cairo on Tuesday to resume talks on forming a "national unity" government, 
representatives of the groups said. 

      Egyptian-mediated talks between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, which controls the West 
Bank, were scheduled to resume on Tuesday, ahead of a broader meeting including 
more factions on Wednesday. 

      "The talks will focus on the issues that were not solved in the last 
round of talks," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Tuesday. 
      Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions left Cairo on March 19 having 
agreed to hold elections in January 2010, but without agreement on the conduct 
of those elections, the platform of the interim government that would govern in 
the meantime, or on the composition of security forces. 

      "Tomorrow, Egyptian officials will meet Hamas and Fatah in preparation 
for a wider conference that will be held this week and will be attended by all 
the factions," Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmad said. 

      Deposed Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya sounded a conciliatory note in 
an interview published in Gaza's pro-Hamas daily, Filistine. Hamas, he said, 
was not trying to rule the West Bank and the Gaza Strip alone. 

      "Hamas wants to put an end to the split and boost partnership in 
administering the country," Haniya told the daily. "We are working to build a 
respectful political system."  



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