CAIRO: Senior Hamas officials met Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss an Egyptian proposal for a Palestinian unity government, the official MENA news agency reported.
MENA says Omar Suleiman s meeting Wednesday with Hamas focused on proposals to form a moderate Palestinian government, hold new elections and reorganize the Palestinian security forces.
MENA says Egypt hopes a series of bilateral meetings with Palestinian leaders will culminate in talks between both factions next month.
Suleiman s talks with the Islamist Hamas came after a string of meetings with a dozen Palestinian factions, including the Fatah party of president Mahmud Abbas, over the past two months to form a national unity government.
The Egyptian proposal includes a transitional government made up of ministers acceptable to all factions and a restructuring of Palestinian security forces with Arab oversight.
The proposal also provides for new parliamentary and presidential elections, after Hamas has said it will not recognise Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas after his mandate ends in January.
The head of Fatah s parliamentary bloc said on Tuesday that his movement supported a transitional government of national consensus but refused to form a national unity government with Hamas.
Such a (unity) government can only be formed after presidential and parliamentary elections are held, Azzam Al-Ahmed said, adding that Hamas had every day put a new condition in the way of dialogue.
The high level Hamas delegation crossed into Egypt from Gaza on Oct. 7.
The delegation is led by Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar, senior official Siyad Siam and Khalil al-Haya. A delegation from Hamas Syria-based political bureau also arrived in Egypt to join the talks. The Damascus group is led by Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk.
Egypt has been acting as a mediator between Fatah and Hamas after the Islamist party, which won a majority in parliamentary elections in 2006, seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, routing forces loyal to Fatah.
Egypt, which occasionally opens its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, hopes it proposal will ease the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which human rights groups say is undergoing a humanitarian crisis because of the blockade. -Agencies