Egypt Says Summit must Lead to Israeli Withdrawal from Palestinian Areas
Egypt stressed Sunday that the central goal of the Middle East summit is to make Israel withdraw troops it sent into Palestinian areas during the last two weeks of violence.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak insisted on the pullout during talks with UN Secretary General Koffi Annan as the two discussed arrangements for Monday's summit, Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said.
"Moving the Israeli army into those territories is a clear-cut violation of all the agreements that have been arrived at in the last few years," Moussa said.
"This is very important in order to defuse the situation. This is the goal of the conference" involving Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, US President Bill Clinton and Mubarak, Moussa said.
"The situation is very, very serious, still very tense in the occupied territories," he added.
Annan, who made no comment about the status of the troops, warned instead that the crisis would have an impact on the entire world politically and economically if it were not solved at this summit.
He said Saturday that the summit cannot afford to fail.
Annan said there were no preconditions for the summit after the Palestinians and their allies Egypt pushed for an Israeli withdrawal and an international commission of inquiry into the cause of the violence -- SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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