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Palestinian Rivals Set Unity Deal Timetable

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah and the rival Hamas agreed on Thursday to revive their long-stalled reconciliation accord by the end of this month, the head of Fatah's delegation to talks in Cairo told AFP.

"Fatah and Hamas agreed at a meeting in Cairo on Thursday between delegations of the two movements on a timetable for implementing Palestinian reconciliation," Azzam al-Ahmad said by telephone from the Egyptian capital.

"We are in agreement on the mechanisms and timetable to end the division, the most important being the resumption of operations by the Central Election Commission (CEC) in the Gaza Strip on the 30th of the month at the latest and afterwards in the West Bank," he said.

He added that there would also be a renewal of talks on forming a non-partisan transitional government ahead of elections.

Ahmad said that the sides also agreed to a session on February 9 of the provisional governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), charged with bringing non-member Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the organization.

Thursday's meeting followed talks in Cairo on January 9 between Abbas and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, their first meeting since February 2012, when the two leaders pledged to resume the process of reconciliation.

Fatah and Hamas, which respectively govern the autonomous areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed an Egypt-mediated reconciliation agreement on April 27, 2011 in Cairo.

But most of its clauses went unheeded and deadlines were constantly postponed.

The militant Hamas and Fatah had been at loggerheads since the Islamist movement seized control of Gaza in June 2007, following its victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections the previous year.

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