Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met in Cairo Wednesday with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to discuss how to relaunch the peace process with Israel as talks got under way in the United States and violence continued in the Palestinian territories.
The two leaders had one-on-one talks at the president's Ittihadiya palace before being joined by aides and advisers.
Mubarak also had an appointment later Tuesday with Yossi Sarid, chief of the left-wing Israeli Meretz party and an envoy of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
In the United States Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began separate meetings with US officials expected to go on until Friday, in the first such talks since the failure of the Camp David summit in July.
Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip two Palestinian firemen were reported shot dead by Israeli troops, bringing the total death toll to 346 since a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation began on September 28.
US President Bill Clinton and Barak are anxious to stitch up an elusive peace deal before the former leaves office on January 20 and the latter faces prime ministerial elections on February 6 -- CAIRO (AFP)
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