Egypt said on Tuesday two major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, are expected to sign an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact on October 25th in Cairo.
On October 3rd, an Egyptian newspaper announced that the signing would be held on October 22.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in remarks published by state news agency MENA that Arab foreign ministers will be invited to attend the ratification ceremony.
Delegations from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas movement that controls Gaza held several rounds of unity talks under Egyptian mediation.
Hamas won a parliamentary election in January 2006, ending a near-monopoly on power by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and its dominant faction, Fatah. The government Hamas formed was subject to a crippling boycott by Western aid donors, leading to a unity government between Hamas and Fatah in 2007.
The pact, if signed, could pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held next year.
Fatah administers the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Hamas rules Gaza -- the two Palestinian territories.
The pact calls for a joint committee of members from Hamas, Fatah and other political parties that would liaise between the internationally isolated Hamas government in Gaza and Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Hamas would also be able to supervise a joint police force in Gaza in the run-up to the June elections, something Fatah sees as cementing Hamas control there after what it calls the "coup" of June 2007. The pact is expected to end a dispute between the two rivals over hundreds of political detainees jailed in the two territories.