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Palestinian chiefs arrive for Mecca talks

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Palestinian chiefs arrive for Mecca talks


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.

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