Turkish and Egyptian leaders are calling for rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah to reconcile and play a greater role in promoting peace with Israel.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday called for more engagement with the militant group Hamas.  But he also stressed the importance of the PLO (or Palestinian Liberation Organization) as the only legal representative of the Palestinian people.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas heads the Fatah faction, which dominates the PLO. 

Mr. Mubarak made the comments during talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday in the Turkish city of Istanbul. 

After the meeting, President Gul told reporters that Turkey would continue to support Egypt's efforts to establish a permanent truce in the Gaza Strip.

Both Israel and Hamas called separate ceasefires on January 18, after Israel's three-week offensive on Gaza, which killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.  Thirteen Israelis also were killed in the conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.