Algerian, Palestinian officials to meet in Algiers ahead of crunch Arab summit

Algerian, Palestinian officials to meet in Algiers ahead of crunch Arab summit
Algeria launched an initiative in January to mediate a Palestinian national reconciliation, hosting tens of key political leaders from different Palestinian factions
3 min read
01 August, 2022
Algeria is attempting to negotiate a reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions [Getty]

Algerian and Palestinian officials will meet in Algiers ahead of the Arab summit, announced Algerian President Abd El Majid Tebboune on Sunday.

During an interview broadcast on national television, Tebboune spoke about Algeria's ambitions to end the rift between the rival Palestinian factions.

"Algeria is capable of this task... We are with Palestine, no matter how many facets that represent Palestine," said Tebboune during the interview.

"We are with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians."

On 5 July, Tebboune held a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas' political bureau.

Upon Tebboune’s invitation, the two Palestinian leaders visited Algeria last month to attend the 60th anniversary of the North African country's independence from France.

A picture of the three leaders holding hands was shared following the meeting.

Algeria's president said Sunday that his country has the credibility to mediate a Palestinian reconciliation as "it keeps the same distance from all the national Palestinian powers".

In January, Algeria launched an initiative to mediate a Palestinian national reconciliation, hosting dozens of key political leaders from the different factions to agree on a common goal.

Since 2007, the Palestinian territories have been fraught with political and geographical division, with Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, administers the West Bank.

It came after the PA and leading international powers rejected Hamas' election win.

Since then, numerous talks have failed to make a breakthrough, with each side further entrenching their positions.

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On Sunday, Algeria’s president said that the Arab summit, scheduled in November in Algiers, will be an opportunity to end divisions among all Arabs.

"In recent years, great fragmentation has occurred among the Arabs due to differences and disputes. What concerns us is that our Arab brothers meet in Algeria, and to mediate if there is mediation to resolve some disputes," added Tebboune.

Answering a question on the Syrian regime's possible attendance at the next Arab League summit, Tebboun said it would be "legitimate" although he hinted a disagreement among Arab states on Syria's participation.

The Syrian regime is responsible for the vast majority of the 500,000 people killed in the war which broke out in 2011 after peaceful protests were brutally suppressed. Syria was suspended from the Arab League shortly after the bloody suppression of the uprising, but Algeria remained on good terms with the Assad regime.

"The brothers in Syria have confirmed that they will not be the cause of more Arab disputes. They think, we think, and the [other] Arab [states] think," added Tebboune on Sunday.