Hamas´s Haniyeh set to meet Egyptian president in Cairo (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 07/26/12)
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Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is expected to meet in Cairo on
Thursday with Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.
Haniyeh, who left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border terminal
Wednesday, is accompanied by a 17-member delegation of Hamas
officials and businessmen. He will be the second Hamas leader to meet
with Mursi since the latter assumed power.
Last week, Mursi met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal – the first
meeting of its kind between the two men since the presidential
election in Egypt.
The meeting came one day after Mursi met in Cairo with Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Ousted president Hosni Mubarak had never met with any representative
Leaders of Hamas who were invited to Cairo in the past few years held
meetings only with Egyptian security officials.
Under Mubarak, the Egyptian authorities had treated Hamas as a
security, and not political, issue.
Moreover, Mubarak’s regime had never recognized the legitimacy of the
Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas is hoping the meetings with Mursi would lead to a gradual
lifting of travel restrictions imposed on Palestinians, especially
those living in the Gaza Strip, a source close to the Islamist
movement said Wednesday.
According to the source, Haniyeh will urge the new Egyptian president
to allow male Palestinians aged 18-40 to enter Egypt without a visa
Haniyeh, the source added, will also request that Egypt help transfer
Qatari-supplied fuel to the Gaza Strip to avoid a humanitarian
crisis. The Egyptians have refused to cooperate in the transfer of
the fuel through their territories, offering instead that it be sent
to the Gaza Strip through a border crossing with Israel.
Another source said that Haniyeh is carrying a plan to establish a
free-trade zone along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Earlier this week, Egyptian and Palestinian sources claimed that
Mursi had instructed his government to stop deporting Palestinians
who arrive by plane at Cairo Airport without an entry visa. Mursi is
also reported to have instructed his government to stop harassing and
detaining Palestinian travelers who enter Egypt from the Gaza Strip.
(© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 07/26/12)
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