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Mursi meets Abbas and Meshaal; holds talks on reconciliation

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Mursi meets Abbas and Meshaal; holds talks on reconciliation
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Cairo: Egyptian president Muhammed Mursi has met his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas and exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal separately as the talks focused on the inter-Palestinian reconciliation and ending the Gaza siege.

Mursi met Abbas Wednesday and discussed Palestinian reconciliation. Discussions also tackled easing the passage of humanitarian aid supplies through the borders to end the suffering of the Gazans.

The meeting was attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Mursi's aide Essam el-Haddad, PLO Executive Office member Saeb Erekat, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmed and Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu-Rudinah.

The two Palestinian figures also were meeting seperately which is the first meeting between the West Bank's Fatah leader Abbas and Meshaal, who heads the Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip, in almost a year, and is aimed at ending years of bitter and sometimes deadly rivalry.

The two Palestinian groups have been at loggerheads since Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, ousting forces from Fatah, which Abbas leads.

Also, US peace envoy David Hale yesterday arrived in Cairo coming from Jordan on a visit to Egypt, as part of a regional tour that included stops in both Ramallah and Amman.

Despite an unsteady internal scene and an economic crisis, Egyptian presidency is hosting a frenzy of regional and foreign affairs activities.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is expected in Egypt today to meet his Egyptian counterpart before meeting Mursi and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb.

He will also hold a meeting with UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

PTI

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