September 21, 2012 - 12:00am

CAIRO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr said Egypt is working on the Palestinian reconciliation, state media reported on Thursday.

"We hope the disputes between the West Bank and the Gaza strip will be resolved soon," said Amr, adding that differences weaken the reconciliation efforts, official news agency MENA reported.

Regarding the repeated visits of Hamas to Egypt, Amr said "The Egyptian mediation in the reconciliation issue is continuous, and Egypt receives officials from Gaza as visitors, not as officials."

He denied talks about opening a bureau for Hamas in Cairo.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Tuesday criticized the official reception of the deposed premier of Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haneya by Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil. Haneya's spokesman said the two men discussed political, security and economical issues.

In 2007, Abbas fired Haneya after Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and wrested control of the Gaza Strip.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak banned any official meetings between his government and Hamas, but the Islamic movement's relations with Egypt improved after the ouster of Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood's winning presidential elections. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.


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