Report of New Barak-Arafat Meeting Causes Flurry
A report that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat would meet on September 6th in New York, leading to a possible summit with US President Bill Clinton, caused a brief flurry Tuesday before denials by both sides, reported AFP.
Minister of Planning Nabil Shaath was quoted as telling reporters that both leaders were scheduled to meet in New York on September 6th.
But he told Reuters that he had been misquoted and there were no plans for the leaders to meet. He said that so far, Barak and Arafat were slated to hold separate talks with US President Bill Clinton in New York next week.
"We don't have any information on any program of meetings between Barak and Arafat," he added.
Israel also denied such a meeting had been planned. Such a meeting would have been the first encounter between Barak and Arafat since the collapse of the Camp David summit last month.
"A meeting has not been scheduled between Barak and Arafat," David Baker, a spokesman for Barak told AFP.
The Camp David summit, which ended over a month ago on July 25th, failed to reach a final Israeli-Palestinian peace accord largely due to differences over the status of Jerusalem.
"Palestinian sovereignty over the whole of east Jerusalem cannot be doubted because east Jerusalem is part of the territories occupied in 1967 and (United Nations) Security Council Resolution 242 applies to east Jerusalem," Shaath said Tuesday.
The Palestinian minister was speaking after a meeting with Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Moussa in Cairo, said Reuters.
"Egypt is listening to the Palestinian side, and its ideas (to resolve the points of dispute) are based on what the Palestinian side says conforms with its position," he said.
He added that Egypt was trying to persuade the Americans and Israelis to move forward in their positions "in order to reach a final peace accord as soon as possible."
"Egypt has an important responsibility in the peace process and in preserving the rights of the Palestinians, the Arabs, Muslims and Christians within the Palestinians' red lines on Jerusalem," Shaath said - (Several Sources)
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