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Egyptian delegation heading to Ramallah (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 02/01/05)Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1107280303847 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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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