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Fatah, Hamas delegations set off to Cairo for reconciliation talks

Oct. 9, 2017 3:56 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 10, 2017 1:44 P.M.)
Rafah border crossing
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Fatah movement delegation is set to arrive in Cairo on Monday evening, ahead of national reconciliation talks with Hamas on Tuesday to be overseen by Egyptian intelligence officials. A Hamas delegation left the Gaza Strip on Monday en route to the Egyptian capital.

Members of the Ramallah-based National Consensus Government traveled to the Gaza Strip last week for the first round of meetings while a number of government ministers began assuming their responsibilities in the besieged coastal enclave.

Spokesperson for the Fatah movement Usama al-Qawasmi said in an interview with the official Palestinian Authority (PA) radio station Voice of Palestine on Sunday that the main file to be discussed is enabling the unity government to execute its full duties in the Gaza Strip, including the administration of the territory's border crossings, and all issues related to Gaza's economy and security.

Al-Qawasmi pointed out that meetings with Hamas would continue for three days depending on the progress of talks.

He stressed that the Fatah movement insists on ending all issues obstructing national unity and would not accept any "half solutions."

Meanwhile, the Hamas delegation departed from Gaza, led by deputy head of the politburo Saleh al-Aruri and including the party's leader inside Gaza Yahiya al-Sinwar and his deputy Khalil al-Hayya. Other members of the politburo joined them: Izzat al-Rishq, Hussam Badran, Salah al-Bardawil, and Moussa Abu Marzouq.

Egyptian authorities exceptionally opened the Rafah border crossing to allow national reconciliation delegations to meet in Cairo.

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