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Egypt 'to continue efforts' for Palestinian reconciliation

June 26, 2012 6:26 P.M. (Updated: July 4, 2012 7:53 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Cairo will continue its efforts to support Palestinian reconciliation, Egypt's Foreign Minister Muhammad Amro said Tuesday.

Amro said Egypt supported the Palestinian cause as part of its Arab commitment and its national interests, speaking to reporters after meeting UN envoy Robert Serry, the PA's official Wafa news reported.

Hamas welcomed the victory of Muslim Brother Muhammad Mursi in Egypt's presidential elections, saying its ideological ally's success would help the Palestinian cause.

It had a mixed relationship with the previous, US-aligned Egyptian president, who supported Israel's blockade on Gaza, which Hamas governs.

"We will look to Egypt to play a big, leading role, a historic role, regarding the Palestinian cause, in helping the Palestinian nation get freedom, return home, and totally end the Gaza siege," Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh told Reuters TV.

President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, also had warm words for the Muslim Brotherhood, calling Mursi "the choice of the great people of Egypt".

Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide, said the democratic vote for Mursi "meant the Palestinian cause was the Number One priority for all Egyptians".

But Erekat said Palestinians had to heal the five-year-old and sometimes bloody schism between Hamas and Fatah.

"Regardless of who the Egyptian president is, Palestinian reconciliation is a Palestinian matter, and if we do not help ourselves, no one will," Erekat said.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation treaty in Cairo in 2011, but the agreement has yet to be implemented.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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