A handout picture released by the Palestinian president's office (PPO) shows Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas (R) greeted by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa in Manama, on July 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ PPO / THAER GHANEM
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Qatar will host a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Sunday to try to push for an end to fighting in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 300 people, a senior Qatari source told Reuters.Due to take place in Doha, the meeting will be chaired by the Gulf state's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who has been acting as a "channel of communication" between the Islamist Hamas group and the international community, said the source. Western diplomatic sources see Qatar as a strategic player in reaching an effective ceasefire deal as the wealthy Gulf Arab state hosts a large number of exiled Islamists from across the Middle East, including Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.The senior Qatari source said Abbas was also due to hold talks with Meshaal following his meeting with the U.N. secretary-general.
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