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Egypt security officials to push reconciliation in Gaza visit

Jan. 21, 2013 6:08 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 29, 2013 10:29 P.M.)
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- An Egyptian security delegation will visit the Gaza Strip soon to push forward reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, an official said Monday.

An Egyptian security official told Ma'an the delegation would meet with the reconciliation committee to implement the timetable for national unity set out earlier this month during a Cairo meeting between Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal and Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas.

The group will focus on the formation of a united Palestinian government to oversee elections, and will work to persuade Hamas to allow the Central Elections Commission to operate in the Gaza Strip.

According to a deal with Hamas outlined by Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad on Thursday, the elections commission should resume work by Jan. 30.

Egyptian security officials are in contact with Palestinian factions to arrange a meeting for Feb. 9 to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections, the official added.

Hamas and Fatah signed an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement in Cairo in May 2011 but the deal has yet to be implemented.
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