Hamas, Fatah talks help restore trust: Senegal

Talks between Fatah and Hamas in the Senegalese capital Dakar this weekend had restored "an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect" between the Palestinian factions, a statement signed by both sides said on Sunday.

Hamas, Fatah talks help restore trust: Senegal
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, offered his services in March as a mediator between the two parties, which clashed a year ago.

A statement following the talks, which began on Friday, said Senegal would resume contact with both sides to organise future meetings with the aim of "reconciling the Palestinian family".

"The Palestinian representatives ... thank the mediator for managing to restore an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, which allowed them to discuss the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people," said the communique signed by Hikmat Zeid for Fatah, Emad Khalid Alamy for Hamas and Senegal's Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.

Senegal's state news agency APS reported on Saturday that Wade had met individually with the Palestinian delegations. The mediation would take place in seven stages, it quoted a presidential spokesman as saying.

Hamas ended more than 40 years of the more secular Fatah's ascendancy with a victory in parliamentary elections in 2006. Hamas fighters went on to rout Fatah forces and take over the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Yemen tried to broker a reconciliation deal between the rival Palestinian movements in March but efforts broke down after disagreement over whether Hamas should cede control of the coastal territory.

Arab ministers meeting at the Arab League have backed the Yemeni proposal, which calls on Hamas to hand over control of Gaza. Hamas says it is ready to resume dialogue but without preconditions.

Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman on Saturday, seeking Arab support for the renewed dialogue, Haniyeh's office said.

Haniyeh said last Thursday he welcomed what he called a "new spirit" of dialogue in a keynote speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Haziran 2008, 16:29
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