Egypt welcomes Hamas readiness for unity with Fatah
Egypt yesterday welcomed statements by Hamas leaders that they were ready to seal a unity deal with the rival Fatah faction but said Cairo's blueprint for Palestinian reconciliation was not up for negotiations.
"Successive statements from several Hamas leaders regarding their willingness to achieve Palestinian reconciliation are welcome," foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said.
But he ruled out requests by Hamas to modify an Egyptian-drafted document to seal the reconciliation between the Islamist group and Fatah, the mainly secular party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
"This matter would delay reconciliation indefinitely," Zaki said in a statement.
"Opening the way for any changes in the document would mean...a regression," Zaki said, in apparent reference to repeated reservations by Hamas over the Egyptian proposals.
Egypt's efforts to re-unite the two rival factions have so far failed and Cairo has postponed twice a planned signing of a reconciliation agreement because of the deep divisions between Hamas and Fatah.
During the last attempt in October Hamas refused to sign the Egyptian-brokered document aimed at paving the way for legislative and presidential elections. Fatah signed the document.
Zaki said reservations from Hamas or any other faction would be taken into account when implementing the agreement.
His remarks came after Hamas' exiled leader Khaled Meshaal said on the weekend that his group was willing to reconcile with Fatah if invited to Cairo.