Arafat in Talks with Egyptian President

Published June 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat held talks in Cairo Sunday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, officials said, a day after accusing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak of blocking the peace process. 

Mubarak held a breakfast at his palace in northern Cairo for Arafat and his entourage which included aide Nabil Abu Rudeina and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) number two Mahmoud Abbas, a presidential official said. Arafat arrived in the Egyptian capital late Saturday from Tunis for the talks, which were also attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and Mubarak's chief advisor Osama al-Baz. 

"Ehud Barak refuses to give the Israeli negotiators the go-ahead to conclude the talks under way, and it's the main reason why there have been no results," Arafat said in Tunisia. 

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak telephoned Mubarak Saturday to discuss the Palestinian track of the Arab-Israeli peace process, Egypt's MENA news agency reported. 

The two leaders "exchanged views on the results of contacts under way between the sides," the state-owned agency said. 

The call came after a new row emerged Saturday with the Palestinians accusing Israel of preparing its troops for "a military solution" in the Palestinian territories, days before the arrival of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  

Albright is due to travel to the Middle East in the coming week to try to set up a three-way summit in Washington between Arafat, Barak and US President Bill Clinton. 

The summit would aim at concluding a framework agreement towards a final status agreement for the West Bank and Gaza strip by September 13th -- CAIRO (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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