Egypt Attaches Conditions on any Summit with Israel
Egypt said Wednesday it would only participate in an eventual Middle East summit with Israel if the Jewish state "retracts its threats against the Arabs" and it accepts "an international commission of inquiry" into the past two weeks of violence.
Egypt would only agree to participate in a summit if Israel "withdraws those troops deployed in the (Palestinian) territories" after the recent wave of violence began, "accepts the creation of an international commission of inquiry" on those incidents and "commits itself not to repeat aggressions against Muslim holy sites" in Jerusalem's mosque compound, Information Minister Safwat al-Sherif said.
The United States has recently raised the prospect of a summit of US, Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders as "one of the options" being considered to try to reduce the tensions in the Middle East.
But Washington denied Tuesday that a summit was on the cards for the time being.
Sherif too said Egypt considered that the time was not ripe for such a meeting, as the situation had worsened in the Palestinian territories.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and related violence in Israel itself have killed some 100 people since September 28.
They were sparked by a visit from Israeli hard-liner Ariel Sharon to the mosque compound, which is built over Judaism's holiest site - CAIRO (AFP)
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