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'Basis for direct talks lacking'
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/18/2010
Egyptian FM pessimistic after Netanyahu meets with Mubarak in Cairo.
 
Egypt said more work needs to be done to bridge the gap between Israel and the Palestinians before they can move to direct peace talks on Sunday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters the basis to move from indirect to direct talks is still "lacking."

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Geit's comment came after separate meetings between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas earlier in the day.

None of the participants talked with reporters after the meetings.

Netanyahu and Mubarak met in Cairo Sunday to discuss the progress of peace talks with the Palestinians and weigh different means of removing the obstacles to peace in the region.

"Under President Mubarak's leadership, Egypt is a main factor in advancing peace and stability in the region. I intend to speak with President Mubarak about ways to accelerate the entry into direct negotiations between us and the Palestinians," Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem ahead of his departure.

Before his meeting with Netanyahu, Mubarak also met with Abbas and US peace envoy George Mitchell to discuss ways to advance the peace process.
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