Algeria to host new Palestinian reconciliation meeting at the end of the month

This is the second meeting between Algerians and Palestinians in less than three months.

AFP/RYAD KRAMDI  -   Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

Algeria will host a new round of meetings at the end of December for the Palestinian reconciliation process between the Islamist group Hamas and the nationalist Fatah party, who met in Algiers in October and signed an agreement to end fifteen years of division.

Jalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, told a press conference that the Algerian government would organise a new session of negotiations later this month, with the aim of "resuming reconciliation efforts".

Hamas has ruled de facto in Gaza since 2007, when it seized power in the enclave by force from the Fatah-controlled Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, who was left with only self-rule over small areas in the occupied West Bank. Since then, the two factions have remained divided and have been unable to reach a final reconciliation despite multiple failed attempts.

AFP/HO/PPO - Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune hosted a meeting between Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Algiers after years of rivalry.

According to al Haya, Hamas wants to "restore national unity" and stressed that the current situation requires a unifying Palestinian leadership.

Last October, Palestinian factions, led by Hamas and Fatah, signed the so-called "Algiers Declaration" after two days of negotiations in Algiers. The agreement was initialled under the auspices of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

He said that the Palestinian political groups had reached "an unprecedented consensus".

Among other issues, the declaration included the calling of elections within a year and the recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.