Hamas hails Mursi meeting
Published Friday, July 27, 2012
Hamas on Friday hailed the meeting between its leader in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, and Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Mursi, saying it represented a "turning point" in bilateral relations.
"The meeting between (prime minister Haniyeh) and the Egyptian president constitutes a real turning point in bilateral relations," Haniyeh's spokesman in Gaza, Taher al-Nunu, said in a statement.
The Thursday meeting in Cairo "touched on strategic issues, and bodes of a future of joint work," Nunu said.
"The prime minister is comfortable with the results of his meeting with Mursi," he added.
Haniyeh's visit to Cairo, a week after Mursi met with Hamas chief Khaled Meshal, came days after Palestinian officials said Egypt had eased visa requirements for Palestinians in Gaza under 40.
Last week, Haniyeh had hailed the meeting between Mursi and Meshal as a "fruit of the revolution" that overthrew Mursi's predecessor Hosni Mubarak early last year. Hamas is an offshoot of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2006 after winning elections which the US and Israel have refused to recognize, hoped Mursi's election victory would strengthen its position.
Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since Hamas took over the enclave, with the 1.6 million Palestinian population suffering from severe power and water shortages.
Mursi met Abbas and Meshal last week, after saying that he would not favor either of their factions as Egypt attempts to reconcile them.
Israel has expressed its discomfort at the improved relations between Egypt and Hamas, warning Cairo not to abandon a peace treaty signed in 1979.