Barak-Arafat Meeting before Israeli Elections still Possible
A meeting between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is still possible, head of Barak's office, Gilad Sher, was quoted as saying by Haaretz newspaper Tuesday.
The paper quoted Sher as telling Israel Radio that as the head of the Prime Minister's Bureau, said Tuesday that efforts are underway to arrange a meeting between the two leaders, but "nothing is certain yet."
"We have heard of efforts of this nature," he said, adding that "it was the Palestinians who were pushing for a meeting."
Barak cut off plans to meet Arafat after the latter, in a speech he delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, accused Israel of waging "a savage and barbaric war" against Palestinians.
A meeting between the two was scheduled to take place Tuesday in Stockholm. Palestinian officials, said the paper, have also spoken of a possible summit. "There could be a summit before the election.
It could be anywhere," Palestinian information minister, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said.
There has been speculation that if a summit was held, it might take place in Egypt under the sponsorship of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said the paper.
Meanwhile, Palestinian officials announced Tuesday that they were suspending security cooperation with Israel in response to Barak's decision to suspend diplomatic ties until after the elections, said the paper, adding that Israeli officials have not confirmed the Palestinian decision.
In another development, secretary of the executive committee at the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) was quoted by the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) as saying Tuesday that the marathon Taba talks have not yet ended, and that peace talks would continue after the Israeli elections on February 6 -- Albawaba.com
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