Palestinian factions said Wednesday they agreed on the need to hold elections by the end of 2018 and praised the unity deal aimed at ending a long-running dispute between Fatah and Hamas.
The call for elections was made in a joint statement at the end of two days of closed-door talks in Cairo attended by representatives of 13 leading political parties.
The factions called on the electoral commission to prepare for presidential and legislative elections to be held by the end of next year at the latest.
They asked Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas to set a date for the polls after consulting with all sides.
The factions also praised the unity deal struck between the two largest parties — Hamas and Fatah — in October.
The Egyptian-sponsored agreement is aimed at ending the 10-year rift between them, and calls on Hamas to cede power in the Gaza Strip to Fatah by December 1.
The statement said the reconciliation deal between the resistance movement Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah party was a “realistic start to end divisions”.
It underscored the “importance of removing all obstacles in the path of the government’s efforts to immediately assume its responsibilities towards our people”.