Hamas leader trying to mend relations with Egypt

GAZA/PNN/

By Emma Von Lego & Bettina Boye

Leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, arrived in Cairo to discuss Egypt’s control with the borders in Gaza

Saturday, the new Chief of Palestinian Islamic group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, started his first official visit as leader to meet with senior Egyptian officials in Cairo.

The meetings will be focusing on alleviating the blockade and mending a longstanding rift with rival group Fatah, headed by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas according to Hamas’ spokesman FawziBahroum.

Since the election of Haniyeh in May, Hamas, who controls the Gaza strip, has tried to mend relations with Egypt and hereby get them to lift its closure on the Strip.

Egypt controls their one border crossing and coordinates security issues with Israel, including enforcing sea, land and air blockade of Gaza. The close corporation between the two countries against Gaza started officially after both countries signed a peace treaty in 1979 to normalize the relationship after the six-day war. Israel is now closely following the official visit and awaiting the outcome.

There has been no immediate comment from Egyptian officials on the talks, but like the European union and the United states, Egypt categorize Hamas as a terrorist group.