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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas holds first talks with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal

By Jan van der Made

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has held what he called "positive" talks with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha. This meeting was the first since the rival movements signed a reconciliation deal last month in Gaza City. Israel, regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation and says it will not take part in any Palestinian peace talks backed by Hamas. Abbas's Fatah movement, which formally controls the West Bank, has been locked in years of bitter rivalry with Meshaal's Hamas since the movement won elections in the Gaza Strip in 2007. Omar Shaban, a Palestinian political analyst director of PalThink in Gaza City, comments about attempts at political cooperation by the two rival groups.

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