Russia mediating reconciliation within Palestinian Fatah movement: Source

Dismissed Fatah member Mohammad Dahlan holds series of meetings with Russian officials.

Russia mediating reconciliation within Palestinian Fatah movement: Source

A person close to Muhammad Dahlan, who was dismissed from the Palestinian national liberation movement Fatah, said Russia is mediating efforts aimed at "reconciliation" within the movement.

Dimitri Diliani, a former Fatah leader who is close to Dahlan, said in an interview with Anadolu Agency that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is mediating and making efforts to end the "Fatah rift" between the "Dahlan stream" and Fatah, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Lavrov met Dahlan on Tuesday in Moscow.

Diliani said the meeting was not the first as it was preceded by meetings between Dahlan and Russian leadership, which were not revealed to the media.

He pointed out that the meeting took place because of a Russian invitation, in which internal reconciliation in Fatah and the Palestinian national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas were discussed.

Diliani indicated that Dahlan immediately announced his "readiness for internal reconciliation."

He said Dahlan told Lavrov that internal reconciliation "is a Fatah and patriotic necessity, and we are ready for it immediately, provided that it is based on organizational foundations, and its mainstay is the movement's internal system and moving away from exclusivity in decisions and marginalization of organizational structures."

Diliani noted that "there is Russian interest in internal reconciliation," and "it can be said that there is a high Russian effort."

He noted the meeting took place before an upcoming visit by Abbas to Moscow.

"We expect that the Russian side will discuss the issue of reconciliation with Abbas, and we do not know what his reaction to that will be, but we hope that the efforts will be crowned with success," said Diliani.

In 2011, Fatah expelled Dahlan, as he was a member of the Central Committee.

Palestine is prosecuting Dahlan for corruption. He resides in the United Arab Emirates.

In 2016, the Palestinian Corruption Crimes Court sentenced Dahlan to three years in prison for embezzling $16 million during his tenure as Security Affairs Coordinator for the Palestinian Presidency.

Regarding national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, Diliani said, "Dahlan expressed his readiness to work for its success, to form a unity government and to go to comprehensive elections."

He said: "There are efforts in this area, and there are steps that have been completed in the Gaza Strip, especially in the file of societal reconciliation, and it is required that Abbas join it."

A political and geographical division has prevailed in the Palestinian Authority's territories since 2007, which erupted following a victory by Hamas in legislative elections.

Fatah has since ruled the West Bank, while Hamas has run the Gaza Strip. And many efforts have failed to end the conflict between the two movements.

Hüseyin Demir

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