Palestinian Official: Palestinians, Israelis to Hold Security Talks Sunday
Top Israeli and Palestinian security officials will meet in Cairo on Sunday with the US CIA director to try to reduce violence in the Middle East, a senior Palestinian official said Thursday.
"After a suggestion by US President Bill Clinton to reduce the violence and start security cooperation, there will be a security meeting in Cairo," the Palestinian official told AFP.
"It will be attended by (US CIA chief) George Tenet and Palestinian and Israeli security officials to try to reduce violence in the region," the official added, asking not to be named.
More than 360 people have been killed since the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising against Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, started September 28. Most of those killed have been Palestinians and thousands more have been wounded.
The Palestinian official said that Amin al-Hindi, chief of the Palestinian General Intelligence service, as well as Mohammed Dahlan and Jabril Rajoub, the heads of the Preventive Security branches in Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively, would represent the Palestinian side.
Israeli public radio reported earlier that Tourism Minister Amnon Lipkin-Shahak would represent Israel at the talks.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, after meeting with Clinton in Washington this week, has accepted US suggestions for 10 days of immediate intensive negotiations with Israel, under the auspices of the United States, a Palestinian source said earlier.
Israel demands that the Palestinian leadership work to end terrorism in the area before peace talks can resume, Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami said on public radio Thursday.
Speaking by phone from Stockholm, the minister said: "In the coming days, we have to tackle the root of the problem... If we perceive in the next few days that the Palestinians are making an effort in the fight against terrorism, then we can return to the negotiating table -- GAZA CITY (AFP)