Egypt invites Gaza foes to resume long-term truce talks

AFP
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas chairs a meeting with members of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 16, 2014
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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas chairs a meeting with members of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 16, 2014 (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)

Cairo (AFP) - Egypt is to invite Israeli and Palestinian delegations to return to Cairo to resume talks on a long-term truce for Gaza, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas announced on Saturday.

"Egypt is going to invite delegates to return to the negotiating table to consider a long-term truce," Abbas said after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Egypt's foreign ministry, meanwhile, issued a statement calling for "concerned parties to accept a ceasefire of unlimited duration and to resume indirect negotiations in Cairo".

A previous round of truce talks collapsed on Tuesday, shattering nine days of calm, as the deadly six-week conflict between Israel and its Islamist foe Hamas resumed.

Since then, 84 Palestinians and a four-year-old Israeli boy have died as a result of the violence.

"As soon as a ceasefire goes into effect, the two sides can sit down and discuss their demands," Abbas said, adding that the Palestinian delegation would include Hamas as in past rounds.

Abbas's meeting with Sisi came after he held two rounds of talks in Qatar on Thursday and Friday with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, whose Islamist movement is the de facto ruler of Gaza.

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