Fatah, Hamas 'Ready for Reconciliation'

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Following meetings with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters that Fatah and Hamas are ready to reconcile with one another.

"No one is happy to see the current divisions continuing," Abbas said. "No one would ever respect us if we go on," he said.

According to Abbas, a declaration will be forthcoming in Cairo from the Egyptian-mediated talks, after which all Palestinian factions will meet.

Though Abbas did not meet with Hamas officials during his two-day visit to Syria, exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said negotiations led by Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman have been successful.

"We have reached a formula (for reconciliation) and we ask Allah to give it success," Mashaal told participants at a conference on Jerusalem in Doha, Qatar.

Senior PA official Saeb Erekat, who called Abbas meeting with Assad "very positive," said the PA president asked for Syria's help in ending the rift between Fatah and Hamas.

Sources: The Associated Press, The Jerusalem Post

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