White House: No Summit before Violence Ends
The White House said Friday that violence should end in the Middle East before a peace summit takes place.
Spokesman Jake Siewert said Washington was in agreement with Egypt's assessment that peace must come before US President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat meet for a summit hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak said Thursday he was prepared to host a four-way summit when the violence subsided.
But earlier Friday, his foreign minister, Amr Mussa, said that conditions for the proposed summit were not in place.
"We share this (Egyptian) assessment," Siewert told journalists at the White House. "We believe that the violence needs to end."
An Israeli government spokesman said Friday no decision on a summit had been made.
"At the moment there is no summit," Nachman Shai said at a press conference here.
"There are ongoing attempts to renew diplomatic dialogue between us and the Palestinians ... but for the time being nothing has been set," he said.
However, European Union leaders meeting in Biarritz, France, Friday expressed the need for an emergency summit.
"Time is running out," the EU said in a statement
Earlier, Israel's former prime minister Shimon Peres was quoted as telling CNN television that a US-led summit may take place in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh as early as Saturday – JERUSALEM (AFP)
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