President Abbas announces next round of inter-Palestinian talks

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The fourth round of inter-Palestinian dialogue will begin on April 26 in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Thursday.
CAIRO, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - The fourth round of inter-Palestinian dialogue will begin on April 26 in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Thursday.

The conflict between Hamas and Fatah, the largest Palestinian political movements, erupted in June 2007, when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force. Hamas has since held power in the enclave of 1.5 million, independent of the officially recognized government of Fatah in the West Bank, which is headed by Abbas.

"A new round of dialogue will begin on April 26," Abbas said. "The main issues of reconciliation will be discussed: the creation of a national government unity, elections, and the reformation of security forces."

Abbas refused to sum up the previous round of talks, which ended on April 2 without any results, only saying that "We don't have any other route except through continuing dialogue."

Egypt plays the role of mediator between the two Palestinian factors, which until recently had no direct dialogue. They restarted reconciliation talks after Israel's assault on Gaza at the turn of the year, which saw some 1,300 Palestinians killed and 5,000 injured.

Abbas visited Moscow this week, meeting President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss Middle East issues. He reiterated that he believed Russia had to play a role in the settlement of Israeli-Palestinian issues.

Russia, along with the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, comprises the Middle East Quartet, which is the focus of international efforts to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

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