Jordan, Egypt FMs hold talks in Israel
Jordan's Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah al-Khatib and his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit on Wednesday held intensive talks with top Israeli officials. The talks focused on the Palestinian issue and the Arab peace initiative adopted in 2002.
Khatib and Abul Gheit, who were delegated by the Arab League to visit Israel to rally support for the Arab peace plan, held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and other political leaders, Petra reported.
The Jordanian minister urged the Israelis to "seize the available opportunity to restart the peace process" in the region on the bases of the Arab peace initiative and relevant international resolutions and the peace process terms of reference.
The two ministers also called upon the Israeli government to take the necessary steps that secure re-launching a "real peace process" between the Palestinians and Israelis. Such steps should include lifting the siege and closures on the Palestinian people and returning the situation in the Palestinian towns to the state as they were before September 28, 2000, they said.
On his part Egyptian Foreign said he and Khatib listened to lots of "positive comments" by the Israeli officials and this created the sense that "there is an Israeli intention to work seriously to give a chance to the Palestinians to realize their state." Jordan and Egypt will submit a report on the visit to the Arab League foreign ministers meeting next Monday in Cairo, Abul Gheit said.