Hamas and Fatah promise to reach compromise
by Hassan M. Fatah in the IHT
February 7, 2007
MECCA: Leaders of Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian political groups, opened an emergency summit meeting Wednesday in Islam's holiest city, promising to compromise in forming a new government. They expressed a desire to salvage the Israel-Palestinian peace process and end the violence that has wracked Gaza and the West Bank.
Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, and Khaled Meshaal, the Damascus-based militant leader, who are members of Hamas, faced Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president from Fatah, at a round table as other Palestinian officials looked on in a palace towering above Mecca's Grand Mosque, the birthplace of Islam.
The men were essentially left inside the room to thrash out their differences, while Saudi officials and advisers stayed outside, offering help but insisting that they are not directly involved.