CIA chief George Tenet, on a regional tour aimed at bolstering a fragile Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire, held brief talks in Cairo Saturday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Meanwhile, another round of Palestinian-Israeli security meetings will take place Sunday in Ramallah.
It will be Tenet’s second meeting with Mubarak. He first met him in Cairo upon arriving in the region to shore up the ceasefire.
The talks at the presidential palace in northern Cairo lasted around half an hour, and took place in the presence of the US ambassador to Egypt, Daniel Kurtzer. However, officials gave no details about what was discussed when contacted by AFP.
Tenet was in the West Bank town of Ramallah Friday and took part in the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs since Palestinian President Yasser Arafat ordered a ceasefire on June 2.
Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs will meet again Sunday in Ramallah in the West Bank in the presence of US officials, reported Haaretz newspaper.
The two sides will present their responses to proposals on ways out of the crisis offered by the Israeli, Palestinian and US delegations at Friday's meeting.
"A second Israeli-Palestinian security meeting will take place tomorrow in the same place with American participation," an official said, without specifying whether Tenet would attend once again.
Friday’s security talks were the first since the June 1 suicide bombing outside the Tel Aviv nightclub.
Tenet met with the Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs for nearly three hours at Palestinian offices just a quarter mile from a Ramallah intersection where Israeli forces and Palestinians exchange gunfire almost every Friday.
The meeting ended with an agreement to continue the dialogue between the two sides.
Israel was represented by the head of the General Security Service, Avi Dichter, and senior army officers, including the heads of the three regional commands. The Palestinians were represented by Palestinian security chiefs Tawfik Tirawi, Jibril Rjoub, Mohammed Dahlan and Amin Hindi.
Israel demanded that the Palestinians arrest dozens of activists from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations and bring an end to what they called "violence and incitement."
But Rjoub said Saturday that the issue of arresting Palestinian militants had not been discussed in the meeting, reported Haaretz.
“The arrest of militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists is in the Israelis' dreams,” said Rjoub, quoted by the paper.
Meanwhile, a European Union delegation is scheduled to arrive in the region Saturday to assist with mediation efforts.
Chief negotiator Javier Solana and Swedish President of the EU Goran Persson will be part of that delegation, which will visit Egypt, PA territories and Israel, earlier reports said.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is also due to arrive in the region next week – Albawaba.com
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