Palestinians Agree to Agree on Unity

CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) -

An Egyptian official said the leaders of the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions had agreed at talks in Cairo on Wednesday to implement a long-delayed reconciliation pact, although it was unclear if the deal would extend beyond holding more talks.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal of Hamas met face to face for the first time in over a year to discuss how to implement their 2011 deal.

“It was agreed that [the] sides would begin immediately to implement the previously agreed[-upon] mechanism of the agreement signed,” a senior Egyptian official involved in the talks, who declined to be named, told Reuters by phone from Cairo.

Nabil Abu Rdaineh, a senior aide to Abbas, said the president had held a lengthy meeting with Meshaal in a “positive atmosphere.” He said there was an agreement to hold more meetings but declined to give details. No comment was immediately available from Hamas.

They reportedly agreed to set up committees to prepare the way for joint presidential and parliamentary elections and the formation of a Palestinian unity government.