Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Nabil Al Arabi, met on Tuesday evening with the visiting Hamas delegation headed by Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief, Khalid Mashal, and held talks on the latest developments in the Arab World and the Palestinian Unity Agreement.The Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Center reported that Mashal and his accompanying delegation also held a series of meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss the latest developments.
On Wednesday, Palestinian factions signed the Egyptian-mediated unity agreement.
Mashal of Hamas, Samir Al Rifaey of Fateh, Ramadan Shallah of the Islamic Jihad, Ahmad Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, and Maher Al Taher of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were among the political leaders who participated in the ceremony.
A senior Egyptian official stated Tuesday that an official ceremony will be held on Wednesday, and added that Cairo sent official invitations to Arab Foreign Ministers, and ministers from Russia, China, Turkey and a number of European countries.
Egypt also invited UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League Secretary-General, Amr Mousa, Organization of the Islamic Conference Secretary-General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton.
Cairo wants to make sure a positive atmosphere prevails during the ceremony, while Egyptian and Palestinian officials were concluding final touches to the preparations in order to ensure a lasting deal that will put an end to years of internal and bloody conflict between Fateh and Hamas movements in the occupied territories.
Following the official ceremony on Wednesday, Palestinian factions will start consultations to form the new interim government that would operate until new general and presidential elections are held.
Also, an Arab Committee headed by Egypt will be heading to the Palestinian territories to ensure the implementation of the deal, and to ensure that obstacles are removed, especially obstacles in issues related to security arrangements, and the integration of government facilities in Gaza and the West Bank.
Israel and the United States opposed the deal and threatened to boycott the new Palestinian government as it includes the Hamas movement, dubbed as a terrorist group by the two countries.