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Palestinian group Fatah restores ties with Damascus Open in fullscreen

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Palestinian group Fatah restores ties with Damascus

Head of the Palestine Authority Mahmoud Abbas and Bashar al-Assad in 2009 [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 June, 2015

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After 32 years, official relations between Fatah and Syria look to be restored.

On Thursday Abbas Zaki, a member of the Palestinian Fatah movement's central committee, said that the movement seeks to re-establish official ties with Syria for the first time in 32 years.

Maan news agency reported that Fatah, who dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, plans to soon open an office in Damascus.

Zaki said that the Fatah delegation's visit to the West Bank had been "successful".

Previously Fatah had been only Palestinian political movement not to have an office in Syria.

Hamas, who control the Gaza Strip, maintained an office in Damascus for 10 years, until leader of the political bureau Khaled Meshaal relocated to Qatar after the outbreak of the 2011 Syrian uprising.

Syrian state news described Meshaal as "treacherous and malicious" after he openly sided with the opposition during the revolution and the preceding conflict.

There were also allegations in 2013 that Hamas was helping to train Syrian rebels in various areas of Damascus.

Rafaat Murra, political representative of Hamas in Beiruit has denied reports that Hamas had fought alongside anti-regime rebels in Syria.

Fatah have had negligible relations with Syria since the administration of Hafez al Assad, who supported Christian militias against the Fatah-dominated PLO in Lebanon since the late 70s.

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