Egyptian, Palestinian leaders meet for reconciliation talks

Egyptian and Palestinian leaders are holding talks in Cairo in what Egyptian media reports are branding a “reconciliation” meeting.

Relations between Egypt and President Mahmoud Abbas’ administration have been tense over a range of issues, including Cairo’s contacts with factions in the Gaza Strip that did not involve Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

Abbas and Gaza’s rulers, the militant group Hamas, are at sharp odds.

Relations also soured when Egypt in December withdrew a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council against Israeli settlements. The draft was later resubmitted by other countries and adopted by the council.

Osama Qawasmeh, spokesman for Abbas’ mainstream Fatah faction, said on Monday that relations with Cairo have been “a little bit cold” recently, but the time was right to “restore this very important and strategic relationship.”

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