Ma'an News Agency
October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Egypt on Saturday, officials said, after a meeting of his Fatah party said movement on a stalled reconciliation agreement with Hamas was "necessary".

Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman told official news agency WAFA that the president would travel to Egypt to discuss implementation of the deal reached on May 4 and brokered by Egypt but which has yet to be carried out.

The Fatah central committee met on Thursday in Ramallah, and applauded the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, WAFA said.

Following the first stage releasing 477 prisoners on Tuesday, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called on Abbas to meet him in Cairo to implement the May agreement.

Officials told Ma'an that Abbas would travel to Egypt, where in addition to reconciliation he would discuss the prisoner swap and the Quartet push for negotiations with Israel.

The Fatah central committee said after its Thursday meeting that Palestinian officials were ready to meet with the diplomatic four -- the EU, US, UN and Russia -- to discuss border and security issues, but stressed it could not enter talks with Israel while it builds settlements on Palestinian land.

Quartet representative Tony Blair said on Wednesday the envoys will press both sides to table their ideas on security arrangements and the borders for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict within three months.

Blair said the mediators would hold separate meetings with the Israelis and Palestinian Authority leadership next week in Jerusalem, in the latest effort to revive the peace process.


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