Two rival Palestinian leaders, Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal finally meet in Damascus under Iranian-Syrian-Libyan aegis

debkafile reports that Abbas finally agreed to talk to Meshaal Sunday night, 24 hours after his first refusal, in response to the initiative of three matchmakers: Iranian national security adviser Ali Larijani, Syrian president Bashar Asad and a cousin of Libyan ruler, intelligence chief Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam. By this interview with Meshaal, Abbas (Abu Mazen) went back on his understandings with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. At her request, Israel transferred $100 m to Abbas this week on the understanding that Abbas would not come to any arrangements with the hard-line Hamas leader or his sponsor, Iran.
The three matchmakers lent their weight to the efforts of Palestinian tycoon Muhammad Rashid and Fatah activist Nabil Amar, who is now working for Hamas, in pushing hard for an Abbas-Mashaal meeting.
When Rice was in Ramallah last Monday, she informed Abbas that the US was vehemently opposed to his trip to the Syrian capital.

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