Mubarak Netanyahu 311 .
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to ask for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's help in moving to direct peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, according to comments he made at the opening of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
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Netanyahu stated that he planned to meet Mubarak in Egypt on Tuesday to discuss ways in which progress in negotiations can be achieved.
In addition to discussing the the re-starting of direct negotiations with the Palestinians, Israeli officials said Netanyahu will brief Mubarak about his talks with Obama in Washington and about the changes in Israel’s policy regarding the blockade of Gaza.
The official said the sense in Jerusalem was that direct talks were “very close,” but he refused to give a timetable.
The announcement that Netanyahu will enlist Mubarak's help in gaining
direct talks comes days after the prime minister met US President Barack
Obama in Washington and implored him to pressure Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to face to face negotiations.
Obama on Friday phoned
PA President Mahmoud Abbas
and urged him to change his mind about
holding direct talks with Israel, according to a Palestinian official in
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The Palestinian Authority has refused to begin direct talks with Israel
unless progress is first achieved on two major core issues during the
current proximity talks: security and borders. According to the
official, however, the US administration is now pressing the PA to move
on to direct negotiations.
“We’re under pressure to agree to direct negotiations with Israel,” the
“Such a move requires the approval of the Arab League.”
The PA leadership has asked Arab League foreign ministers to convene
soon to discuss the US demand, the official added.
“If the Arab League says it’s okay, we will go along.”
Getting the Arab League to agree is expected to be among the topics
discussed on Tuesday, when Netanyahu travels to Egypt for his meeting
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