Hamas announces a breakthrough in relations with Egypt

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SHAFAQNA – Senior Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar has announced a “positive” and “clear” breakthrough in his movement’s relations with Egypt in the wake of the Israeli war on Gaza. In an interview with the Turkish news agency Anadolu, he said: “Hamas reviewed its relations with Egypt and, on Friday, its delegation in Cairo held a two and half hour meeting with Egyptian officials.”

He continued: “All outstanding issues were discussed and a breakthrough in relations was reached,” noting that another meeting is due to take place within a month.

Among the discussed, Al-Zahar said, was the Rafah Crossing and Hamas’ position on Egypt. Due to the importance of the Egyptian role in the region, Al-Zahar said, relations between the two sides would witness great developments in the future.

The senior Hamas leader said that there will never be an alternative to the Egyptian role regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict whoever the Egyptian ruler is. “This was clear during the Israeli war on Gaza,” he said.

Hamas-Egypt relations deteriorated after the ousting of the freely elected President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, followed by a court ruling that banned all Hamas activities in Egypt and confiscated all its offices in the country.

Al-Zahar also said that Switzerland is the third party which would pay the salaries of the Gaza civil servants recruited since the start of Hamas’ rule of Gaza in 2007.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had previously said that a third party would pay the salaries of the aforementioned employees without disclosing which country that would be.

About the indirect talks with the Israelis on the ceasefire deal, Al-Zahar said that each side exchanged its agenda with the other in the round of talks held last week, noting future talks would be resumed after Eid Al-Adha.

He said that the Palestinian delegation put the issue of the airport and seaport on its agenda and the Israelis put the issue of the corpses of the Israeli soldiers killed in battle, as well as consolidating the ceasefire deal.

The Egyptian mediator, Al-Zahar said, would set the date of the next round of talks and will call for both sides to discuss their agendas.

Regarding the airport and the seaport, Al-Zahar said that Article IV of the Oslo Peace Agreement includes the right of the Palestinians to have their own airport and seaport.

Source : https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/14469-hamas-announces-a-breakthrough-in-relations-with-egypt

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