Egyptian FM to Meet Peres in Spain
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told reporters Wednesday he would meet in two days with his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, on the sidelines of a Mediterranean regional conference in Spain, reported AFP.
Maher said Israel's ambassador to Egypt, Gideon Ben Ami, conveyed that "Israel's foreign minister will be in Spain and wants to meet me, and I replied I had no objections."
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are also expected to attend the Friday conference of European and Mediterranean countries in Formentor on the Balearic island of Majorca.
The meeting will mark the 10th anniversary of the Madrid Conference, which launched the now-moribund Arab-Israeli peace process.
Peres had said earlier he would "probably" meet Arafat at the conference but stressed that no talks would take place.
"We shall probably meet, but we are not going to negotiate because I think negotiations should be prepared very carefully," Peres said.
For his part, Maher cautioned that, "If Israel truly wants peace and security, it must stop its practices and its shilly-shallying and lack of respect for [a] concluded agreement."
Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel, but Cairo has refused to appoint a new ambassador to Tel Aviv because of “Israel’s excessive use of force” to quell the year-old Palestinian Intifada – Albawaba.com
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