Abbas, Meshaal to meet in Doha: Fatah official
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal will meet in Doha next month to conclude a series of meetings aiming to end the intra-Palestinian division, a senior official in the West Bank's Fatah movement announced on Wednesday.
Amin Maqboul, the secretary of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, told Turkish news agency Anadolu that the meetings between the two main Palestinian factions in the Qatari capital had made significant progress.
"It began with a Qatari invitation for Abbas to meet with Meshaal," Maqboul explained, "then it was changed into a series of initial meetings to discuss an implementation mechanism for the Cairo agreements to end the division."
"A meeting between Abbas and Meshaal is currently being prepared amid continued communication and discussions of unresolved issues," he added, referring to issues of security and the unity government.
Doha has been hosting private talks between Fatah and Hamas delegations to discuss the implementation of a reconciliation agreement and address previous obstacles.
After the first meeting in February, Hamas announced it had reached a reconciliation deal with Fatah.
"Both factions will now begin to circulate the agreement among their leaders to begin implementation on the ground," read a press statement from Hamas issued at the time.
According to Palestinian sources, the Doha meeting discussed the formation of a national unity government and the implementation of the 2012 Cairo agreement.
They also discussed the fate of security personnel in Gaza who were hired by Hamas after the 2007 split, as many fear that reconciliation could mean Fatah reinstating security officers into the Palestinian Authority that had been absorbed into Hamas ranks.
Tensions between the two parties have been heightened since 2007, when Fatah-aligned figures attempted to oust the elected Hamas movement from power. As a result of the internecine fighting which followed, Fatah was effectively routed from the Gaza Strip, while Hamas was pretty much shut down in the West Bank.