Abbas to Visit Iran Within Two Months, Says PLO Official

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to pay a visit to Iran within the coming two months, a senior PA official told the Xinhua news agency on Monday.

Ahmed Majdalani, an official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and aide to Abbas who is currently visiting Tehran, told Xinhua that he discussed arrangements for the PA chairman’s planned visit with Iranian officials.

He added that the PLO delegation's current visit to Iran aims at regaining and correcting the Palestinian ties with the Islamic Republic.

The delegation agreed with the Iranian officials to form a joint committee to cooperate in political issues, trade exchange and education, he told Xinhua.

The ties between the PA and Iran declined over the past 10 years in the view of Iran's support for groups which oppose the PA, such as Hamas with which Iran has had close ties.

However, Iran and Hamas have been at odds in recent over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’ refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.

Nevertheless, the two sides have been getting closer in recent months, with a Hamas delegation visiting Tehran in December and a Hamas official later declaring that the visit had "opened a new chapter" in relations between Tehran and the terror group. 

But in recent days there have been reports of another rift between Iran and Hamas, which began when Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met Saudi King Salman during a pilgrimage to Mecca in July. Saudi Arabia is Iran’s regional rival in the Middle East.

Following that meeting, it was reported that an angry Iran had canceled a planned visit of a Hamas delegation to the country.

Xinhua noted that Abbas's last visit to Iran was when he joined a non-aligned states conference which was held in Tehran in 2012.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/199302

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