Palestinian rivals promise unity government

May 14, 2013 - 2:36 PM

CAIRO (AP) — A leading Palestinian official says rival groups Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a national unity government in three months.

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said both sides agreed on a timetable that begins with creating laws to govern elections.

Al-Ahmed spoke in Cairo after he met with a Hamas delegation led by Moussa Abu Marzouk. Tuesday's meeting was brokered by Egyptian intelligence officials.

The Hamas militant group controls the Gaza Strip, while the Western-backed Palestinian Authority governs autonomous areas in the West Bank.

The territories have been politically divided since 2007.

In 2011, Hamas and Fatah leaders signed an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement that was not implemented. According to subsequent talks, the two factions were to form a national coalition government of independents to oversee legislative and presidential elections.