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Mubarak asks Palestinians not to set preconditions for talks with Israel
www.chinaview.cn 2003-12-11 05:23:00

   CAIRO, Dec. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday urged the Palestinians to resume talks with Israel without preconditions, the official MENA news agency reported.

   "I had phone talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat andPrime Minister Ahmed Qurei earlier in the day, asking them not to set preconditions for the resumption of talks with the Israelis,"Mubarak said after talks with his Iranian counterpart MohammadKhatami in the Swiss city of Geneva.

   Both Mubarak and Khatami are in Geneva for the World Summit onthe Information Society (WSIS).

   Asked about his meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister SilvanShalom on Wednesday, the Egyptian leader told MENA that they didnot discuss in detail peace efforts made by Egypt and thePalestinians.

   "It is imperative for the Palestinians and Israel to return tothe negotiating table to exchange views on contentious issues,"said Mubarak.

   "Egypt had opted for the same approach following the 1973 MiddleEast War," he said.

   A hope for resuming Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and reactivating the so-called roadmap peace plan has loomed following the formation of a new Palestinian cabinet in November and a lullin the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

   The internationally-drafted blueprint proposes reciprocal stepsto be taken by Israel and the Palestinians and envisions a full Palestinian state by 2005.  Enditem

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