Suleiman arrives for talks, will meet Sharon Wednesday (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 02/01/05)
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Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman is scheduled to arrive for
talks with Prime Minster Ariel Sharon on Wednesday to focus on
Egypt´s security role on its border with Gaza, as Israeli-
Palestinian-Egyptian security coordination continues to intensify.
"This is all part of the heating up of security contacts and
coordination," one senior Israeli diplomatic official said.
Israel, the official said, deems Egyptian security cooperation an
essential component - along with the deployment of Palestinian
Authority security forces - in calming down the situation in
Arms being smuggled across, or under, the border provides
the "oxygen" for the terror industry that has developed in southern
Gaza, and Israel believes the Egyptians can play an instrumental
role if they decide to actively fight the smugglers.
Egypt is expected to deploy 750 border patrolmen along the border
within the next three months, and Wednesday´s meting is expected to
deal with the details involved.
The official said Suleiman´s visit is related to the upcoming visit
of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday, with the
Egyptians wanting – like the Palestinians – to impress Rice that
they are talking constructive action.
Certain moves Israel has taken in recent days, such as the directive
to the IDF to curtail military actions in the territories, can also
be viewed in the same light.
The Israeli official responded philosophically to Rice´s statements
at a town hall meeting of State Department employees Monday in
Washington, where she said that Israel was going to have to
make "fundamental choices" about "creating conditions in which a new
Palestinian state could emerge, and, indeed, that meant that the
Israelis were going to have to recognize that there was going to
have to be contiguous land for
this Palestinian state to exist on."
Rice told the State Department staff that "I don´t think any of us
doubt that without a Palestinian state that is viable, that can
represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, that there
really isn´t going to be a peace for either the Palestinian people
or for the Israelis."
The official said that Rice, who he said "won´t make any concessions
to terror" and "is to the right" of President George W. Bush on
this, is trying during her first days in office "to satisfy
everyone, including those who think there is not enough pressure of
The official said Rice seems to want to show the high-ranking
bureaucrats at the State Department that her policy Israel is "even-
handed." (© 1995-2004, The Jerusalem Post 02/01/05)
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