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Abbas phones Mashaal to discuss reconciliation

Dec. 13, 2012 11:14 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2012 5:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas phoned Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal on Wednesday to discuss ending the division according to prior agreements, a Fatah official said.

Azzam al-Ahmad said Abbas phoned Mashaal to accelerate implementing national reconciliation. Abbas talked with him about his first visit to Gaza, and about Hamas' anniversary celebrations.

Al-Ahmad said he met Mashaal on Wednesday and a member in Fatah's central committee as part of new efforts to see if a reconciliation deal could finally be implemented.

The Fatah official said he was pleased that Mashaal was able to enter the Gaza Strip after decades away from Palestine, and also happy for Mashaal's participation in Hamas' anniversary events. He said the celebrations aimed to end the division in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Al-Ahmad said it was too soon to say when a meeting in Cairo with all the factions would take place, as Hamas officials were still in Gaza for the anniversary and Egypt is holding a constitutional referendum.
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