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Aide: Abbas won’t meet Hamas leaders in Cairo

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement will not hold talks with rival Hamas in Cairo during the discussions to reopen Gaza-Egypt border, an aide to Abbas said on Wednesday.

“President Abbas did not form a delegation from Fatah to accompany him … he will discuss Rafah crossing point’s issue with the Egyptian side and has no intention to meet Hamas leaders,” negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo told the press.

Egypt invited Abbas and Hamas for talks on reopening Rafah crossing one by one. Egypt and Israel closed the passage after Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in June following fighting against pro-Abbas forces.

Earlier, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoom had said his movement doesn’t mind meeting with Abbas in Cairo. But the Palestinian president rejects to hold any talks with Hamas unless it gives up control on the Gaza Strip.

Abed Rabbo urged Hamas “to free the Palestinian people of Gaza by not obstructing the efforts to reopen the crossing,” adding “Hamas makes the troubles and wants us (PNA) to correct its mistakes.”

Egypt, Abbas and the Arab League want to reopen the crossing according to an international agreement which stipulates the presence of European Union (EU) monitors as a third party. Hamas refuses and calls for removing the third party.