Egyptian delegation heading to Ramallah (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 02/01/05)
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A high-level Egyptian security delegation is expected to arrive in
Ramallah early next week for talks with Palestinian Authority
officials on efforts to reach a cease-fire with Israel, a top PA
official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
The official said that the Egyptian government is hoping to convene
a conference for all the Palestinian factions in Cairo next month to
formally announce a cease-fire.
He said the decision to dispatch the security delegation to Ramallah
followed last week´s meeting in Cairo between PA Chairman Mahmoud
Abbas and President Hosni Mubarak.
Abbas and Mubarak also agreed that Egypt would send security experts
to the Gaza Strip later this month to train PA policemen as part of
a plan to "rehabilitate" the Palestinian security establishment.
A group of 43 PA policemen is due to arrive in Cairo on Thrusday,
where they will be retrained by Egyptian security officers.
Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad leader
Ramadan Shallah are scheduled to arrive in Cairo on Friday for talks
with Egyptian government officials on the cease-fire proposal and
ways of avoiding internecine fighting in the Gaza Strip in the
aftermath of Israel´s planned withdrawal from the area.
Former PA security minister Mohammed Dahlan, who met twice with
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz in the past few days, said on Wednesday
that the two sides were close to reaching an agreement on deploying
PA policemen in a number of West Bank cities.
He said the PA was ready to assume security control of any area
evacuated by Israel. "We want a real and full Israeli withdrawal
from the cities," he told reporters in Gaza City. "We don´t want
them just to withdraw from the cities and then surround them."
Dahlan also said that the PA wants Israel to release thousands of
prisoners and to stop pursuing and killing wanted gunmen.
Referring to the upcoming summit between Abbas and Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon, Dahlan said: "We are on the way to reaching an
agreement on all the standing issues. We don´t want the summit to
take place before we have reached an agreement on all the important
issues so that there would be no surprises. We want a summit that
would result in an agreement."
In a related development, families of Palestinian prisoners held in
Israel urged Abbas not to sign any political or security agreement
with Israel that does not ensure the release of all their sons.
PA officials claimed that Israel has agreed to release 900 prisoners
as a goodwill gesture to Abbas. They said Israel has also agreed to
reopen the Palestinian airport in the southern Gaza Strip. (© 1995-
2004, The Jerusalem Post 02/01/05)
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