RAMALLAH, Palestine

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki described Monday the “successful” ongoing intra-Palestinian talks in Cairo.  

“The first session of the [Palestinian] factions’ meeting in Cairo is successful, and hopeful towards the outcomes of the meeting,” al-Maliki said in a joint news conference in Cairo alongside Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shuokry, Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi and Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abuol Gheit.

Al-Maliki said that the meeting is discussing ways to ensure the success of general elections.

He also noted the Egyptian role in helping to make the talks successful. “Egypt is working to ensure the success of the dialogue,” he added.

Palestinian factions began a national dialogue earlier Monday in Cairo to prepare for incoming Palestinian elections and to solve potential obstacles in running the polls.

Palestinians plan to hold legislative elections May 22 and presidential polls July 31, for the first time in 15 years.

Hamas and the rival Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have been at odds since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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