CAIRO - Egypt's president will hold four-way talks with the Qatari emir, the prime minister of Turkey and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the Gaza crisis, a presidential source said.
Egypt has been working to reinstate a truce between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, after an informal truce brokered by Cairo broke down.
Israel launched a http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=292138 on Wednesday with the declared aim of deterring Hamas from launching cross-border rocket salvos that have plagued southern Israel for years.
"Egypt's presidency will meet today with (exiled Hamas leader Khaled) Mashaal, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the situation in Gaza," the presidential source told Reuters.
He said it would be a meeting of all four leaders.
Erdogan, who arrived in Egypt earlier on Saturday, has been an outspoken critic of Israel, while Qatar's emir visited Gaza in October, breaking the isolation of the Palestinian group.
Arab League expected to back Egypt truce efforts
Arab foreign ministers will consider on Saturday a draft statement that calls for the Arab League chief to lead a delegation to Gaza and voices support for Egypt's efforts to negotiate a truce, an Arab diplomatic source said.
The ministerial meeting was called shortly after Israel launched a massive air campaign on Wednesday with the declared aim of deterring Hamas in Gaza from launching cross-border rocket salvos that have plagued southern Israel for years.
Egypt had brokered an informal truce in October, which has since collapsed. It now says it is seeking a new deal.
The Arab diplomatic source, who declined to be named, said the draft to be discussed by the ministers expressed the Cairo-based League's support for Egypt's efforts to achieve a "long-term truce" between Israel and Palestinian factions.
As well as condemning Israel for "aggression" and calling for it to stop attacks, the draft called for League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to lead a delegation of ministers to Gaza "immediately" to show solidarity with Palestinians.