King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has been greeting Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, ahead of crucial talks to end the bloody rivalry between Fatah and Hamas. Abbas will try to negotiate a unity government with his Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, and Hamas’s political leader Khaled Meshaal in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
The meeting is being seen as a last stop before civil war. Haniyeh’s Hamas movement ousted Fatah in Palestinian elections just over a year ago.
Since then the power struggle between the two factions has gone from bad to worse. It intensified in December when Abbas – frustrated by the failure of unity talks – threatened to call new elections.
At least 80 people have been killed in clashes since then – 60 in the last two weeks after a summit between Abbas and Meshaal in the Syrian capital, Damascus, ended in deadlock.