January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

CAIRO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Egypt is now working to create some common ground between the Palestinians and Israel so as to resume their talks in the near future, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki on Thursday.

Egypt's official MENA news agency quoted Zaki as saying that negotiations based on a U.S. vision for the final settlement is what Egypt is working to achieve.

"We hope to see the U.S. move in this direction," he said, adding that Egypt is talking with all parties in coordination with Washington.

The U.S. administration is aware of the important role Egypt plays in this regard, Zaki said, adding that Washington is well aware of what Arabs are seeking from the final-status negotiations.

According to Zaki, the Palestinian reconciliation would reinforce the Palestinians' position in the talks with Israel, butit is not a precondition for the restart of negotiations.

Zaki believed Egypt's ties with Hamas have not reached a deadlock, saying "we always say that Hamas is part of the Palestinian fabric and even if we have ideological and political differences with the movement... that would never undermine our relations."

Since last February, Egypt has brokered several rounds of reconciliation talks in Cairo between rival Fatah and Hamas to iron out their rifts, which have yielded little tangible results.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017