Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas Political Bureau Chief, Khaled Mashal, met in Cairo, affirming the Palestinian national unity and partnership. An understanding was reached to hold legislative and presidential elections in May 2012.Talking to reporters after meeting Hamas delegates in Al Andalus Palace in Cairo, Abbas stated; “I am pleased to inform the Arab and Islamic Nations that we started a new phase of partnership to best serve the Palestinian people”.

The president described the meeting as ‘very important’ and ‘positive’ as it did not witness any differences between the two movements, and added that all current political developments were discussed in detail, the Arabs48 News Website reported.

“We deal with each other as partners, we have unified responsibility towards our people and our cause”, Abbas said, “We discussed the reconciliation agreement in details, and we are pleased to say that were have no disagreements on any issue, we would like to thank Egypt for its efforts through the years to reach step”.

Abbas added that Egypt was behind the Unity Agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas last May, and that the country never gave up despite all challenges.

On his part, Mashal also stated that this meeting is considered a new stage of unity, partnership and seriousness in implementing not only all sections of the Unity Agreement, but also ensuring full partnership in dealing with the current situation, and the future.

“I want to assure everybody, these are not just words, I want everybody to wait and see the real outcome on the ground”, Mashal said, “We hope that our people, all factions, will help us in serving our cause, we are so happy to be in Egypt today, and we would like to thank Egypt’s leadership and people”.

The Hamas-affiliated Website, “The Palestinian Information Center, reported that a meeting will be held on December 22nd, and that this meeting would be part of the unified leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO); an agenda for unity and reconciliation would also be set.

Egyptian officials who participated in the meeting stated that it comes as the initial stage before more further meetings between the two movements take place in order to ensure the formation of a transitional government that would be tasked with preparing for the elections, reconstruction Gaza, ensuring full reconciliation, and unifying all institutions of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The leaders also discussed the future of the PNA, the situation in occupied Jerusalem, reactivating the PLO, and speeding up the measures to reconstruct the Palestinian National Council.

They also expressed support to the popular struggle in Palestine, and the efforts to unify and strengthen it.

The Hamas-affiliated Palestine-Info reported that Fatah and Hamas also agreed to end the file of political prisoners, held by Hamas-run security forces in Gaza, and Fatah-run security forces in the West Bank.