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Unity meeting in Cairo postponed, official says

Jan. 30, 2013 12:29 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 31, 2013 5:36 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Cairo meeting on Wednesday to discuss reconciliation between Palestinian factions is likely to be postponed, a Fatah official said.

Senior official Yahya Rabah told Ma'an that the reconciliation meeting is unlikely to take place due to unrest in Egypt and a failure by factions to implement decisions agreed in previous discussions.

Factions met on Jan. 17 and agreed that the Central Elections Commission, public freedoms committee and social reconciliation committee would resume work by Jan. 30.

Consultations over forming a joint government were also meant to begin by the same date and the Central Elections Commission was scheduled to visit Gaza on Wednesday to start updating the electoral roll in preparation for a vote, officials said last week.

"Are the dates that were agreed upon serious or formal?" Rabah said, explaining that the implementation of previous decisions was to form the basis of Wednesday's meeting.

President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Khaled Mashaal of Hamas met face-to-face in Cairo in early January, for the first time in over a year.

They also met separately with Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi, and an Egyptian official said the leaders agreed to implement the Egyptian-sponsored deal from 2011.

The two sides have so far failed to put the deal into practice to reunify Palestine's leadership.
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