RAMALLAH, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a senior Islamic Hamas movement leader met here Saturday on Palestinian reconciliation.
The meeting lasted two hours, said Nasser al-Din al-Sha'er, a Hamas leader and former deputy prime minister in the Hamas-led government, which rules the Gaza Strip.
"I discussed with President Mahmoud Abbas how to take positive practical steps on the ground to guarantee the implementation of reconciliation," al-Sha'er told Xinhua over the phone.
"We believe that there is an overwhelming Palestinian consensus to achieve an internal reconciliation, end division and go for general elections as soon as possible," al-Sha'er said.
Meanwhile, an official of the Fatah Party, which controls the West Bank, told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the meeting between Abbas and al-Sha'er focused on ideas related to reaching full reconciliation.
"President Abbas is ready to go for reconciliation as soon as Hamas accepts holding general elections in the Palestinian territories," the official said.
The internal Palestinian division started when Hamas routed Abbas' security forces and took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. The two sides have so far failed to resolve their split.