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The New Arab

PFLP delegation meet Egyptian officials in Cairo

The leftist group visited Egyptian officials over the weekend [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 June, 2016

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Following a series of meetings between Palestinian factions and Egyptian authorities, the leftist group PFLP have paid a visit to Cairo.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced that a delegation met with a number of senior Egyptian officials in Cairo for an "important meeting".

According to a statement issued by the PFLP, officials discussed the political split in the Palestinian leadership and announced the need to restore national unity.

The political and militant group said that Egyptian officials agreed to the need for unity in Palestinian territories and the need to preserve the role of the PFLP.

The Palestinian political leadership has been split since a low-level war between Fatah and Hamas political groups emerged in 2006

Hamas routed Fatah from its Gaza Strip power base, after the former's election victory in 2006.

Although the fighting has ended it resulted in two rival governments, each claiming to represent the Palestinian people with the Hamas authority in Gaza and Fatah ruling the West Bank through the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas-ruled Gaza has been subject to a crippling siege and bombing by Israel, while the Egyptian regime has shuttered the Rafah crossing into the land strip, in part due to its opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood-linked movement.

With this in mind, the PFLP discussed reconstruction of the Gaza Strip - large parts reduced to rubble after Israel's intensive bombing of the area in 2014 - and the need to open the Rafah crossing to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza.  

Previous meetings in Cairo between Palestinian groups and Egyptian officials have also touched on the issue of reconciliation.

Egyptian intelligence figures have reportedly been in frequent contact with Moussa Abu Marzouk, considered Hamas' deputy leader in Gaza, since a delegation from the movement visited Cairo in April.

The contacts are understood to have focused on matters relating to the border between the Gaza Strip and Sinai.

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas also paid a visit to Egyptian authorities last month.  

Despite Abbas' meeting with Egyptian officials, sources have previously told The New Arab that Egypt remains far closer to Abbas' arch-rival, Mohammed Dahlan.

He has the strong backing of the United Arab Emirates - which in turn is among the chief backers of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who was behind the 2013 military overthrown of the Muslim Brotherhood government. 

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