Annan-Arafat Wrap up Talks, to Meet Again Tuesday
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said he would meet again with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Tuesday, after they held two hours of talks on the crisis in the Middle East.
Arafat, speaking to journalists, described it as a "very important" meeting.
Annan arrived in the region on Monday in a bid to quell the wave of deadly unrest that has rocked the Palestinian territories since September 28 and prevent a conflict with Lebanon over the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers by Lebanese Shiite Muslim guerrillas.
Their meeting coincided with an extraordinary Israeli cabinet session chaired by Prime Minister Ehud Barak to discuss options after the expiry of his 48-hour deadline for an end to the violence.
Earlier, the UN chief met in Tel Aviv with Israel's acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami, who said there were no signs that the violence had stopped.
Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner told AFP Israel considered that its ultimatum for the Palestinians to halt the unrest that has claimed the lives of almost 100 people had expired unheeded.
After his Arafat talks, Annan repeated comments made at a joint press conference with Ben Ami.
"Our first objective is that the action must shift from the streets to the bargaining table. The bloodshed must stop and the conflict must not be allowed to spread," he said in Tel Aviv.
Annan's meeting with Barak was put off until Tuesday, an apparent protest by the premier against the UN Security Council resolution adopted Saturday condemning an "excessive use of force" by Israel against Palestinian demonstrators -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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