Arafat Meets Briefly with Mubarak, Denies He is Seeking Arab Summit
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met “briefly” at a seaside resort near Alexandria Wednesday to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories, a source close to Mubarak told AFP.
Arafat was reportedly seeking to gather support for holding an Arab summit on the deteriorating regional situation after 10 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence, but Al Jazeera satellite channel quoted the leader as denying he had been pushing for such an event.
The two men first met privately for about 10 minutes at the resort of Borg Al Arab and were then joined by their aides.
Arafat had met with Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher on Tuesday night, discussing the need to "coordinate Egyptian and Palestinian efforts to put an end to the Israeli aggression,” a spokesman said.
Arafat is currently on a tour of the Arab world, having arrived in Egypt after a stop in Saudi Arabia and Jordan after a trip to Tunisia.
He is then set to travel on to Italy later Wednesday to meet with Italian leaders and Pope John Paul, according to Italy's Foreign Ministry.
The official Kuwaiti news agency, KUNA, has quoted Arafat’s aide, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, as saying that the tour was to push for an extraordinary Arab summit to face the escalation of Israeli violence against the Palestinians.
Palestinian sources expected Arafat to seek a mini-summit that would be more swift and efficient, should a major Arab summit prove impossible, according to KUNA – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)