Emirati President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan held talks Wednesday with his Palestinian counterpart Yasser Arafat on recent developments in the Middle East peace process, the official WAM news agency said.
Arafat briefed Sheikh Zayed on "recent developments in the peace process, the obstacles in the path of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the dangers faced by Jerusalem, particularly the continuation of Israeli settlement activity," WAM said.
The two leaders stressed the "need for a comprehensive and permanent peace" in the Middle East, the agency added.
Arafat left Gaza Monday for a tour of the region, starting in Saudi Arabia, and he is expected to travel on to Oman to hold talks with Sultan Qaboos, his political advisor Nabil Abu Rudeina said.
In an interview with the Saudi Okaz daily published Tuesday, Arafat accused Israel of lacking commitment to the peace process and renewed a pledge to declare independence on September 13.
Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now disclosed that the Israeli government had issued a tender for 174 housing units in Maale Adumim, a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem, the first since Prime Minister Ehud Barak declared a freeze last year.
Israel and the Palestinians embarked on a fresh round of talks in the southern Israeli resort of Eilat on Sunday in a bid to reach a framework accord on a final peace settlement by mid-May -- ABU DHABI (AFP).
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