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Sharon, Mubarak, Abbas, to meet in Egypt next Tuesday (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 02/02/05)Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1107280304485 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accepted an invitation on Wednesday from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to meet on Tuesday in Sharm e- Sheikh, Egypt along with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Jordan´s King Abdullah II was also invited to attend the summit. There has been no official confirmation of his attendance. However, Jordanian Foreign Minister Hani al-Mulqi told the Associated Press that he was heading to Egypt on Monday to take part part in the summit the following day. "I´m going to the meetings. I´m leaving for Egypt on Monday," he said.

This would be the first time that Sharon would meet with Abbas since he was elected and the first time Sharon would meet with Mubarak since he [Sharon] was elected in 2001.

Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei confirmed Abbas´s acceptance of the invitation.

The invitation was extended via Egypt´s intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman during his meeting with Sharon Wednesday.

The two also talked about the security situation on the border and what needs to be done to stop weapons smuggling.

"This is all part of the heating up of security contacts and coordination," one senior Israeli diplomatic official said on Tuesday.

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.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials are also meeting with the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Cairo to discuss implementing a cease- fire.

Islamic Jihad´s leader Ramadan Shalah met Suleiman in Cairo on Tuesday, said Jihad spokesman Nafez Azzam. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said he is in Cairo and expects to meet Suleiman on Wednesday evening after his return from Israel.

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 meeting dealt 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 upon Rice that they are taking 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. With AP. (© 1995-2005, The Jerusalem Post 02/02/05)


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