RAMALLAH, July 25 (JMCC) - Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will meet Egypt's president Mohammed Mursi on Wednesday, according to
It will be the first meeting between the two leaders, both of which represent Islamist movements in their respective countries. Haniyeh was elected in a 2006 vote in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with Hamas later taking control over the Gaza Strip in armed clashes with its rival and previously dominant faction Fateh.
Ismail Haniyeh was crossing with a number of officials and was due to meet with former Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Mursi, Maher Abu Sbaiha, the general director of the crossings authority in Gaza, told the Ma'an news agency.
It was not immediately clear when the two men would meet or what they would discuss.
Haniyeh's trip comes shortly after talks between Mursi and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal earlier this month in which the latter hailed a "new era in Palestine's relationship with Egypt."
The founding of Hamas was inspired by Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt's oldest and most established Islamist movement - but the Palestinian group now operates independently because of its location and the conflict with Israel.
Mursi was elected president of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak stepped down during widespread protests last year.
Haniyeh is certain to raise the issue of the blockade of Gaza, where the 1.7 million residents of the Strip are unable to move freely and import and export goods due to Israeli restrictions. Gaza's sole exit to the outside world is the Rafah crossing into Egypt, which is open only to some travelers.
While Gazans would like to see Egypt open the border, such a move would relieve Israel's responsibility for opening its borders with Gaza.
While much has been made of historic ties between Hamas and Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement in Egypt has a long history of political concessions and is expected to be moderate in its relationship with Israel.