March 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is soon to pay his first visit to Egypt since the resignation of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah party's central committee, told Palestinian radio Voice of Palestine that he was informed by Egyptian officials that Egypt welcomes the visit of Abbas to the country, which is due in days.

"Foreign Minister of Egypt Nabil al-Arabi and other Egyptian officials informed me that Egypt will be expecting President Mahmoud Abbas in an emergency visit to Cairo within the coming few days," al-Ahmad said.

The Egyptian officials also voiced support for Abbas' announcement last week that he was willing to go to the Gaza Strip, which ruled by the Islamic Hamas movement, soon and anytime to end the current split, al-Ahmad said.

"Once the political situation in Egypt becomes more stable, the Egyptian officials would give an opportunity to renew its pioneer role either to encourage the Palestinian reconciliation or help the peace process," he said.

Meanwhile, al-Ahmad revealed that Hamas rejected a visit of a security delegation from Fatah to the Gaza Strip to prepare for Abbas' visit to the enclave.

"Hamas gave an impression through the statement of its official that they oppose the initiative of President Abbas who wanted to immediately end the division and form a government that prepares for elections," al-Ahmad said.


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