The Egyptian foreign minister has called on the US to recognize Palestine as a state, as Palestinian factions are preparing to sign a unity deal.
Nabil al-Arabi urged the visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot on Sunday to “press Washington to recognize Palestine as a state” in line with previous statements by the US administration about a two-state solution, Egypt's official news agency, MENA, quoted him as saying.
The issue came into view as Hamas political leader, Khaled Meshaal, will meet Fatah leader and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on May 4 to sign the Egyptian-brokered deal.
The Palestinian movements, which have been at odds since Hamas came to power in 2006, reached an initial agreement on all controversial issues, including the elections and the formation of the interim unity government.
They have also agreed to hold the elections within one year.
Al-Arabi also said a united Palestinian side would be ready for peace negotiations.
He also urged Washington to arrange an international conference on peace in the Middle East.
Hamas has vowed that the reconciliation deal will stay in place despite all the pressure from the US and Israel, which have been campaigning to prevent the recognition of a Palestinian state that includes the resistance movement.