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Suleiman arrives for talks, will meet Sharon Wednesday (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 02/01/05)Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1107280304485 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 southern Gaza.

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 Israel."

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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