Egypt’s Mursi Meets With Abbas on Uniting Palestinian Ranks

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and his Palestinian counterpart met today to discuss reconciliation between Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and Gaza’s Islamist rulers, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

Abbas had arrived earlier in the day and was preceded by Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal, who was also to meet with Egyptian officials, MENA reported. The two groups pledged to work toward reconciliation in November after the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state.

The meeting between Mursi, an Islamist fielded by the Muslim Brotherhood last year for the presidency, and Abbas focused on unifying the Palestinian ranks ahead of any upcoming peace talks, MENA reported. The discussions also looked at ways of lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip, it said.

Mursi earned international accolades by helping broker a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel in November, ending an eight-day round of violence between the two sides.

The Cairo-based agency also said that the U.S. peace envoy, David Hale, arrived today in Egypt for meetings with Egyptian officials.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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