Hamas chief arrives in Cairo to discuss Shalit deal
Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha says Meshal will also discuss restarting Palestinian reconciliation talks.
Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshal is in Cairo to discuss a prisoner exchange deal for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, a spokesman for the Islamist group said on Saturday.
Meshal arrived in Cairo on Saturday. He heads a high-ranking delegation of the Palestinian Islamic movement to meet senior Egyptian officials, including intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
Spokesman Ayman Taha said Meshal will also discuss restarting Palestinian reconciliation talks.
Negotiations to release Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for Shalit have fizzled since he was seized in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip in 2006.
But in recent weeks, German mediators have become involved, reviving the talks. Still, both sides have dampened expectations of a quick deal.
Saudi daily Al-Watan reported on Friday that Meshal intended to use the visit to approve the clauses of the prisoner swap deal and sign off on a final draft.
Leaders of rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas are to conduct separate meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo on Saturday, to discuss reconciliation between their factions.
Feuds between Hamas and its secular Palestinian rival Fatah mounted after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, and ousted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces.
Egyptian intelligence officials have been trying to broker an agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which controls Palestinian-administered areas of the West Bank, since March.
Abbas is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, to discuss Cairo-mediated Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks, as well as the Arab-Israeli peace process and Abbas' recent tour of European capitals.
Abbas, who arrived in Cairo on Saturday after his Paris visit where he met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, is scheduled to head to Saudi Arabia after his 2-day visit in Egypt.