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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:38, June 19, 2006
Mubarak, Abdullah probe Palestinian issue
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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan held talks on Sunday in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to probe the overall Arab situation, especially the Palestinian issue.

The two-hour-long summit dealt with "boosting the potentials of the Palestinian people, delivering aid to them, the Palestinian- Israeli relationship, its settlement and the roles of Egypt and Jordan in the advancement of this relationship," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters after the meeting.

The two leaders also probed an EU-Quartet agreement endorsed at a recent meeting in Brussels on aid to Palestinians and ways of its delivery, Abul Gheit said at a joint press conference together with his Jordanian counterpart Abdelelah al-Khatib.

King Abdullah arrived in Sharm el Sheikh earlier in the day on a lightning visit to Egypt.

A plenary Egyptian-Jordanian session of talks was also held under the co-chairmanship of President Mubarak and King Abdullah.

The "summit was very positive and fell within the context of a series of constant Egyptian-Jordanian meetings on joint and full cooperation towards the Arab situation in general and the situation in the Palestinian lands in particular," Abul Gheit said.

Earlier on Sunday, King Abdullah met in Amman with visiting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on the deteriorating security and economic situation in the Palestinian territories.

During the meeting, the king called on all parties on the Palestinian front to exert efforts to overcome challenges facing the Palestinian people.

He underlined the importance of ending any military escalation and calming tension between the Palestinians and Israelis to build confidence at this stage and ensure a quick return to the negotiating table.

The United States and the EU have cut off direct aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government since Hamas refuses to renounce violence, recognize Israel's right to exist and honor previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements.

Such moves have led to a grave financial crisis, of which ordinary Palestinians bear the brunt and the Hamas government has been unable to pay about 160,000 civil servants since March.

Meanwhile, Abbas issued a presidential decree on June 10 to hold a referendum on July 26 on the document which is seen as implicitly recognizing Israel.

Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruct, has rejected the referendum idea.

Source: Xinhua

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