Hamas' top political leader has warned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against asking his prime minister to form a new government.

The militant group and Abbas' Fatah movement have held months of negotiations aimed at forming a unity government. But an Abbas aide has signaled that the Egypt-brokered talks had failed, and the president would soon ask his prime minister Salim Fayyad to form a new government without Hamas.

Fayyad had stepped down in March to clear the way for the latest round of unity talks.

Hamas' leader Khaled Mashaal said reconciliation talks were ongoing and warned that such unilateral steps by Abbas would lack legitimacy. He spoke during a meeting of Damascus-based Palestinian groups Saturday.