Arafat Meets Israeli Transport Minister in Gaza overnight

Published February 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Palestinian President met overnight in the Gaza Strip with Israeli transport minister, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, reported The Jerusalem Post newspaper in its internet edition. 

The meeting, according to the paper, aimed at arranging a meeting between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. 

But AFP quoted Amin Singer, spokesman for Shahak as saying that the meeting "was designed to decrease the violence and discussed only security, nothing on the diplomatic front." 

Efforts are underway to arrange a meeting between the two leaders before the Israeli elections on February 6. 

Palestine's Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said Wednesday that a meeting between the two might take place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh early next week. 

Israeli press said that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and other European officials are trying to arrange such a meeting before the elections. 

Both leaders were scheduled to meet in Stockholm on Tuesday, but Barak cancelled the meeting in protest of Arafat's accusation to the Israeli during a speech he delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland -- Albawaba.com  

 

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