Preparations underway for four-way Summit in Egypt amid tight securityUPDATED: 19:28, June 25, 2007
Preparations and tight security measures are underway for the four-way summit of
Egyptian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli leaders to be held on Monday afternoon to tackle on efforts to ease the current grave situation in the Palestinian territories and activate the stalled Mideast peace process.
Security guards can be seen at the road intersections near the four-way summit area at a hotel and congress center in Sharm el-Sheikh, some 500 km southeast of Cairo, checking IDs and press cards of the passersby.
About 500 foreign and Egyptian domestic mediamen applied to cover this high-level four-way summit to be attended by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to Egyptian official sources.
Efforts to contain a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and provide aids to the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority and the emergency government, as well as means to revive the peace process are expected to be top on the summit agenda. The West and Israel imposed an siege on Palestinians after Hamas won the legislative council elections and took office in March 2006.
The latest diplomacy maneuver proposed by Mubarak came amid chaos in the Palestinian territories where Hamas seized control of Gaza by violence and Abbas, in response, decreed to sack Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya and the Hamas-led unity government, later swore in an emergency government led by Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit earlier said that the summit aims to boost Palestinian-Israeli relations and ease the constraints on the Palestinian people and create an appropriate climate for a resumption of the peace process.
Analysts say the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh also aims to bolster Abbas and encourage him to maintain the hardline stance towards Hamas.
However, Haneya on Sunday slammed the four-way summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, saying it will bring nothing to the Palestinians and accusing Israel of boosting the difference among the Palestinians by supporting the emergency government.
Israeli cabinet on Sunday decided to officially recognize the newly appointed Palestinian emergency government, and approved the transfer of the withheld tax revenues to it.
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