Sharon, Abbas hail meeting; Palestinians expect Israel to pull out from cities, free prisoners
Following the Thursday night summit between Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian peer Mahmoud Abbas, which both leaders described as "very positive", Sharon stated that he would order the Israeli army to pull out of the center of West Bank cities and scale down its presence in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The two-and-a-half-hour meeting late Thursday was "very positive and the Israeli side promised to take some good steps to reduce the suffering of the Palestinian people", Palestinian information minister Nabil Amr told AFP.
Sharon demanded Abbas take action to stop the violence and practical steps on ground such as "dismantling terror organisations, confiscation of illegal weapons, and the ending of incitement", his office said.
In response to a Palestinian request, Sharon also agreed to free two leading Palestinian detainees who are long-time inmates in Israeli jails. He also agreed to release several dozen more Palestinians held in Israel, on condition that
they are not suspected of involvement in attacks against Israelis.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath, who participated in the summit was quoted as saying that 100 Palestinian prisoners, including Taysir Khaled, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee and politburo of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, will be released on Friday. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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