Haaretz: Mubarak, Weizman Seek Deal in Private
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and former Israeli president Ezer Weizman had a low-profile meeting Thursday. Diplomats said a deal was discussed to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denied Thursday night that he had sent a message with Weizman to Mubarak. Weizman was Mubarak's dinner guest the same night in Cairo, reported Haaretz on Friday.
Diplomatic sources were quoted by the paper, however, as saying that Weizman has been working behind the scenes to arrange a meeting between Sharon and Mubarak. Weizman called Mubarak on Wednesday to talk about ways to calm regional tensions and save the peace process from its present crisis. On Thursday morning, Mubarak called Weizman to invite him to dine in the Egyptian capital.
Both sides are trying to keep the meeting low-profile, partly because Egypt is committed to the recent Arab League decision to freeze diplomatic contacts with Israel.
However, President Mubarak said that he wouldn’t stop working for peace, although Egyptian-Israeli relations have been strained since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada, and particularly since Sharon’s election in February.
Mubarak told Weizman that Sharon should try to strengthen Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's position and maintain the ceasefire. He said he was ready to meet with Sharon in the future, on the condition that the Israeli prime minister take some confidence-building measures with the Palestinian Authority.
Back in Israel, Weizman briefed Sharon on the meeting, and said he planned to keep up his contacts with Mubarak, according to the daily – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)