Palestinian PM leaves Cairo after truce talks ''fail''
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei left the Egyptian capital city on Sunday evening without an agreement on a Palestinian cease-fire, after three days of talks, delegates said. "The talks have reached a dead-end. There was no agreement on the Egyptian proposal for a total cease-fire or to authorize the Palestinian Authority to pursue peace moves," said Husam Arafat, a senior official in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. He added that the talks had ended in "failure."
Delegates, however, said a statement will be issued later
outlining the results of the meetings. "The statement will have no mention of refraining from attacks on civilians,
cease-fire or authorizing Abu Ala (Qurei)," said Samir Ghosheh, head of the Palestinian Struggle Front, one of more than a dozen groups that attended the Palestinian talks.
Earlier, Palestinian factions held contacts in order to settle for a partial halt to anti-Israeli attacks after failing to agree a full truce demanded by Israel as a condition for resuming peace talks, delegates said. "The final communique was mainly agreed by all groups, especially the point on halting attacks against civilians, but now there is disagreement over whether this should be
conditional or not," a senior Hamas official said Sunday morning.
"We have accepted a conditional halt to attacks on civilians without spelling out what these conditions are," senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal said earlier Sunday.
Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Qurei met with the heads of 12 Palestinian factions to try to bridge the gaps, delegates added, according to AFP.
Al Bawaba sources indicated that there “had been a lot of pressure from Qurei to widen the truce to include all kinds of operations in Israel, and not only those that target civilians.” The sources also highlighted to Al Bawaba that “a further meeting would be held with the director of the EDI - Omar Suleiman – who could be asked to travel to Washington in an attempt to have US officials exert pressure on Israel to respect today’s unilateral cease fire.”
While retaining the "right" to attack soldiers and settlers in the occupied territories, Hamas and Islamic Jihad backed a halt to suicide bombings inside Israel as part of a statement concluding four days of talks, delegates added.
However, unlike other factions, they placed conditions on Israel, such as a halt to assassinations of activists, an end to raids in Palestinian territory, and a release of prisoners, Jihad's chief delegate Ziad Nakhala disclosed.
These factions also refused to mandate Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority to negotiate a comprehensive ceasefire, because it would "mean accepting the peace "roadmap," a delegate said.
Qurei arrived in Egypt Saturday hoping to see a full ceasefire as a bargaining chip in talks with Israel. "We want a ceasefire between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government in return for an Israeli commitment to stop all forms of attack against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian territories," Qurei said Sunday after meeting with President Hosni Mubarak. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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