abdullah mubarak 224 88.
(photo credit: AP)
Jordan and Egypt urged the Palestinians on Wednesday to cast aside their differences to make way for peace and statehood.
The joint call by Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came in a closed-door meeting in the Jordanian capital and hours after Israeli forces killed at least eight Palestinians in an air strike and a ground operation in Gaza Strip.
In Jordan, Abdullah and Mubarak - both key US allies whose countries have signed peace treaties with Israel - implicitly referred to the power struggle between bitter enemies, Fatah and Hamas. Both factions have been at loggerheads since heavily armed Hamas militiamen seized Gaza in mid-June after thrashing pro-Fatah security forces.
Abdullah and Mubarak said in a joint statement that they urged the Palestinians to "adopt unified stances that would conform with the current challenges and enable them to establish their independent state and restore their national legitimate rights."
The statement said the two leaders also reiterated that a US-sponsored international peace conference, slated to be held in the United States in November, was an "important opportunity for achieving tangible results" in Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking.
But they both repeated their call for "adequate preparations" to precede the meeting, which they said must tackle crucial issues that have tormented Middle East negotiators, such as the status of refugees, east Jerusalem and the borders of a future Palestinian state.
US President George W. Bush in July called for the conference to break a deadlock in the Middle East peace process, but the lack of an official agenda, location and exact timing for the meeting has been a cause for concern in the region.