Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday met in Cairo for the first time with newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi.
According to a PA official in Ramallah, the talks focused on the latest developments in the region and Egyptian efforts to end the Fatah-Hamas dispute. Abbas also briefed Mursi on US pressure on the PA to resume frozen peace talks with Israel, the official added. During the meeting, Abbas reiterated his demand for a settlement construction moratorium and Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as a basis for talks, an official told The Jerusalem Post.
Abbas told reporters following the meeting that he also updated the Egyptian president on the severe financial crisis in the PA. He said that the $100 million that Saudi Arabia transferred to the PA last week had, however, helped ease the crisis.
Referring to the ongoing dispute with Hamas, Abbas said that efforts to form a unity government were hindered earlier this month when Hamas in Gaza decided to suspend the registration of voters in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Election Commission began registering voters in preparation for new presidential and parliamentary elections before the Hamas government stopped its work. Hamas said it took the decision because the PA leadership was not serious about reconciliation and as Hamas members in the West Bank were still in prison.
Abbas told reporters that Egypt had great interest in ending the Fatah-Hamas dispute as the Palestinian issue was linked to Egypt’s national security.
Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshaal also arrived Wednesday in Cairo for talks with Mursi on ways of ending the dispute with Fatah. Hamas sources said that Meshaal was scheduled to meet with Mursi on Thursday. It is unclear if Mashaal and Abbas will also meet during their stay in Cairo.