Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and the exiled political leader of the militant group Hamas have held a rare meeting in Cairo, their first since their parties formed a coalition government.

Mr. Abbas of the moderate Fatah movement and Hamas' political chief Khaled Mashaal met Friday in Cairo.

They had been expected to discuss an exchange of prisoners with Israel, the internal situation in the Palestinian territory, and an effort to lift international sanctions against the Palestinian government.

Details of the meeting have not been released.

The rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government in March. The two sides hoped to end a Western embargo against the Palestinian authority and to end months of factional fighting that killed more than 130 people.

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