Arabs expected to back Egypt truce efforts for Gaza

By REUTERS
November 17, 2012 16:25

 
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CAIRO - 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.

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