Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday updated Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Palestinian reconciliation efforts, the official PA news site Wafa reported.
The 83-year-old PA president discussed the issue with the Qatari emir in Doha a day after holding talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman.
“His excellency informed the emir…of the latest developments related to Palestinian national reconciliation,” the Wafa report said, referring to Abbas.
Last week, the Egyptian Intelligence Services reportedly met separately with delegations from Hamas and Fatah to discuss reconciliation.
Since Hamas and Fatah failed to implement an Egyptian-sponsored deal to bring the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian reconciliation efforts have been at a standstill. The parties signed the agreement in October 2017, but did not succeed in implementing it.
The Hamas terrorist group has been the effective sovereign inside the Gaza Strip since it ousted the Fatah-dominated and West Bank-based PA in 2007 from the territory.
A major issue of disagreement between Fatah and Hamas is the weapons of armed groups in Gaza. Abbas, who serves as Fatah chairman, has said all weapons in Gaza should be under PA control. Hamas leaders, meanwhile, have defended “the right” of armed groups in the Strip to possess weapons and have not said they would be willing to hand them over to the PA.
Qatar has previously tried to advance reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, but in the past year, Egypt has taken charge of mediating between the rival Palestinian groups.
Abbas’s trip to Qatar and Jordan marks the second time he has traveled abroad since his hospitalization with pneumonia in late May.
The PA president also traveled to Moscow in July.
Abbas was exhausted and ill for several weeks after leaving the hospital in May but since a few days before his Moscow trip has felt much better, a source in the PA President’s office told The Times of Israel last week.
The PA president is expected to return to Ramallah at the conclusion of his visit to Qatar.
Next week, he is slated to attend a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council, a top Palestine Liberation Organization body, in Ramallah.