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Israel FM hopes for return of Egypt, Jordan ambassadors (AFP-FRANCE PRESSE) JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 02/03/05 6:47 AM ET)Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1515&ncid=1515&e=10&u=/afp/20050203/wl_mideast_afp/mideastsummitisraelegyptjordandiplomacy_050203114729 AFP} Agence France Presse AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said he believed next week´s Middle East peace summit will be the cue for Egypt and Jordan to upgrade diplomatic ties by returning their ambassadors to Tel Aviv.

Such a move could also persuade other Arab countries to forge diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, Shalom told a meeting of the Britain-Israel chamber of commerce on Wednesday night.

"I believe that while Egypt and Jordan will send back their ambassadors, that will enable many other Arab countries to send their representatives," he said.

"Those Arab countries were looking for a long time for an appropriate time to send their ambassadors."

Both Egypt and Jordan withdrew their ambassadors from Tel Aviv shortly after the start of the Palestinian intifada in September 2000 in protest at Israel´s attempts to quell the uprising.

There are now expectations that both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas will jointly declare that the uprising is over at Tuesday´s summit in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The summit will not only represent Sharon´s first meeting with a Palestinian Authority president since he came to power, it will also be the first time that he has met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (news - web sites). Jordan´s King Abdullah II has also accepted an invitation to the one-day gathering.

Israeli public radio reported that Egypt and Jordan were expected to officially annnounce the return of their ambassadors at the summit.

A source close to Sharon to AFP that Egypt and Jordan "have no reason to delay their return of their ambassadors in light of the rapprochement between the Israelis and Palestinians". (Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. 02/03/05)

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