Photo: AP
Mashaal. Meeting with Abbas
Photo: AP
Photo: Yisrael Hadari
Mubarak. Meeting with Livni
Photo: Yisrael Hadari
Report: Israel may talk with Hamas
Egypt receives guarantees from Israel, U.S. that they would agree to negotiate with Hamas if organization accepts 'two-state' principle, London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat reports
Cairo has received guarantees from the United States and Israel that they would agree to hold negotiations with Hamas if the group agrees to negotiate on the basis on a two-state principle, the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday, quoting Egyptian sources.


Egyptian and Palestinian sources reported that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is expected to meet in Cairo with Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, during his visit to Egypt, set to begin Tuesday.


Abbas flew to Cairo after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah. On Wednesday, he is expected to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss the political situation in the Palestinian arena following Hamas' victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.


Mubarak is also expected to meet Wednesday with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Livni and Abbas, however, are not expected to meet, according to the sources.


Mashaal's deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouk, told the newspaper that Egypt is exerting great efforts in a bid to stabilize the situation in the
Palestinian arena and to reach a formula that will be accepted by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people who expressed their faith in the movement.


He said that two meetings between Hamas and the PA have already been set. The first one is the meeting between Mashaal and Abbas in Cairo and the second one will be held in the Gaza Strip.


'No expected meetings between Israel, Hamas'


Abu Marzouk added that Cairo was also trying to reach an agreement between a number of Arab and western countries to facilitate negotiations with Hamas. He added that Egypt managed to gather the Palestinian factions for a dialogue in Cairo and that the Egyptian delegations visiting the West Bank have always succeeded in solving the crises uncovered in the area.


Abu Marzouk also said that Mashaal will arrive in Cairo in order to discuss the composition of the new government. He added that Hamas does not fundamentally reject the candidacy of former Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad for prime minister and foreign minister while Hamas will be responsible for interior portfolios.


"We have no objection to any name for the Palestinian government," he said, but added that "it is too early to talk about names."


Abu Marzouk added that there are no expected meetings between Hamas representatives and Israel.


"In terms of negotiations with Israel, we have to wait. We in Hamas have principles and at their foundation are the rights of the Palestinian people."


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