Egypt presses for Palestinian truce

02 January 2004
Egyptian President Mubarak will send the head of Egypt's intelligence services to the Occupied Territories in early January to further peace negotiations with Palestinian militant groups, the Israeli Haaretz daily reported on 2 January. Omar Suleiman will travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and senior Palestinian Authority security officials.

The news of Suleiman's visit came as another senior Egyptian official was in the West Bank for peace talks. Mubarak's senior aide, Osama al-Baz, met with Arafat during a short visit to the West Bank town of Ramallah. Al-Baz told Haaretz that Egypt was 'deeply concerned to get out of this problematic situation which threatens the whole region'. Al-Baz called on all the Palestinian groups to take a more active role in reaching a truce. 'Then the Israelis will do the same,' he said. Al-Baz also said that his meeting with Arafat had been a success. 'What I heard during my meeting with the president has reassured me and given us hope for the future,' Al-Baz told reporters after the meeting. 'We hope that for its part Israel will also follow its commitments so that we can reach a compromise.' (MEED 12:12:03)

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