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Hamas, Fatah reach tacit agreement--Hanieh to embark on first trip abroad since June 2007.

--Hamas, Fatah Reach Tacit Agreement

--Hanieh to Embark on First Trip Abroad since June 2007

Hamas and Fatah have reportedly reached a tacit agreement to keep the two governments in place until legislative elections next May, the pan-Arab daily ASHARQ AL AWSAT wrote on Tuesday. Representatives of the two movements met in Cairo on Sunday to resume reconciliation talks to form the basis of a unity government to be elected next year. Unnamed sources told the daily that the two group have agreed to keep the government of Ismail Hanieh in place in Gaza and the government of Salam Fayyed in place in the West Bank until the elections.

Fears rose that Fayyad, whose appointment is hotly contested by Fatah, would be sacked before the 2012 elections, in a move that would not only spark anger from Israel and its allies in the West, who see Fayyad as being a moderate mind, but could also end in economic sanctions against the West Bank's Palestinian Authority, ASHARQ AL AWSAT wrote. The sources also told the daily that the talks will continue on Thursday to address outstanding issues, including the issuance of passports, political prisoners, and the restructuring of security services on a national basis.

Gaza leader

An aide said that Gaza's prime minister is planning his first official trip outside the territory since the militant Hamas movement overran it in June 2007. Prime Minister Hanieh's political adviser, Yusef Rizka, said the Gaza leader will travel in the near future to Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and Tunisia. He added that four nations all invited Hanieh to visit. No date has been set.

Hanieh has not left Gaza since the Hamas takeover due to tensions with neighboring Egypt, fighting with Israel and domestic issues. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel and the West because of its bloody attacks against Israelis, and its Gaza regime is not internationally recognized. Egypt's new rulers have warmed up to Hamas since longtime President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.
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Title Annotation:HAMAS-FATAH
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Dec 20, 2011
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