Arafat Holds Talks with Mubarak
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat held talks in Alexandria Saturday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the peace process with Israel, Egypt's MENA news agency reported.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said Friday that Arafat's consultations with Mubarak are aimed at "narrowing the gaps (with Israel) in a balanced and just way."
The Palestinian President was expected to brief Mubarak on his recent talks with US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland.
After closed-door talks, Arafat and Mubarak were joined by Arafat's advisor Nabil Abu Rdeineh, information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo and negotiator Saeb Erekat as well as Moussa, Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and Mubarak's top advisor Osama al-Baz.
"An agreement on east Jerusalem is the key to any settlement" between the Palestinians and Israel, Abu Rdeineh said before they left for Egypt, adding that "the coming days will be decisive."
Arafat's visit to Egypt is the fifth since the end of the failed Camp David summit in July with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
His visit also follows that of acting Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami on Thursday, who came for consultations on the same issues.
After the talks Saturday in Mubarak's Ras al-Tin palace, Arafat is due to return to Gaza before heading to Rabat for a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference's Jerusalem Committee on Monday - ALEXANDRIA (AFP)
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