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Egypt terms Annapolis meeting as starting point for serious Palestinian-Israeli negotiations
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11:33, November 25, 2007

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The upcoming Annapolis Mideast peace conference is expected to be a starting point for activating serious negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in accordance with the terms of reference of related international resolutions, the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Saturday.

In a statement, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zakinoted that the Egyptian stance during the Annapolis meeting will focus on some basic points mainly that terms of reference should be included in any document to be issued by the conference and the negotiation process should continue according to a clear-cut time frame that does not exceed a few months.

The terms of reference should include the peace process as adopted in the bases of the Madrid peace conference in 1991, the land for peace principle, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the signed agreements by both sides and the Arab peace initiative, Zaki added.

He also called for the mechanisms to follow up the negotiation process to tackle the various fundamental issues mainly the borders of a Palestinian state, Jerusalem and refugees, as well as confidence-building measures such as halting settlement activities and the construction of the separation wall, releasing Palestinian prisoners and removing roadblocks.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit is scheduled to head for Washington Sunday to lead Egypt's delegation to the U.S.-hosted Annapolis Middle East peace conference slated for Tuesday.

During the conference, the Egyptian top diplomat is expected to stress the necessity of achieving overall and just peace and the importance of reviving peace efforts on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, in order for Arab states to be able to restore their occupied lands.

Source: Xinhua

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