Senior Hamas delegation to visit Cairo Saturday
Published: Sep 03, 2009 07:32 PM Updated: May 25, 2011 12:58 PM

A high-ranking Hamas delegation will visit Egypt on Saturday to hear latest proposals on settling internal Palestinian political strife and exchanging prisoners between Hamas and Israel, a Hamas official said Thursday.

The delegation will be headed by Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' politburo chief based in Damascus, and its agenda in Egypt includes a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, said the official Ayman Taha.

Khalil al-Hayya, a Gaza-based politburo member, will also join the delegation, Taha told Xinhua.

"The delegation will hear the Egyptian vision regarding the prospects of achieving the national reconciliation and pushing forward the national dialogue," Taha said, stressing that the delegation "doesn't hold new suggestions."

Egypt has been mediating between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement to reunite them under a unified government of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The split between the two territories widened in 2007 when Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and Abbas has consolidated his power in the West Bank afterwards.

The rival Palestinian groups held several rounds of talks in Cairo since February but they failed to make any progress in reaching a reconciliation deal.

Meanwhile, Taha said the Egyptian-sponsored indirect talks between Hamas and Israel to exchange the prisoners would also be discussed during the meetings between the delegation and the Egyptian officials.

He stressed that there has been no progress in the issue, denying media reports that a breakthrough has been reached.

Hamas captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006 and is demanding to exchange him for a number of Palestinian and Arab prisoners.

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