Top Fatah Official Refuses to Meet With Hamas in Cairo

 CAIRO, Egypt —  A top Fatah official said Sunday that the moderate Palestinian group would not meet with the Hamas militant faction while in Cairo to discuss the security situation in the Palestinian territories with Egyptian officials.

Deputy Prime Minister Azzam al-Ahmed’s comments came a little over a week after Fatah and Hamas reached a truce to stem fierce factional fighting that killed more than 50 Palestinians. Despite the agreement, tensions between the two groups remain high.

Fatah’s talks with the Egyptian government will focus on “restoring calmness in the Palestinian field, avoiding the return of conflict and fighting and supporting unity,” said al-Ahmed in a Cairo press conference after meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

Egypt, a regional heavyweight and top U.S. ally, is a regular mediator in the Palestinian crisis and has been working to reconcile the Palestinian factions, whose infighting has further stalled negotiations for a peace agreement with Israel.

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