Abdullah, Mubarak hold talks on Palestinian crisis

July 3, 2006 23:35


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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks Monday in Jeddah on the crisis facing the Palestinians following the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. Mubarak's previously unannounced visit came as Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz warned Syria Monday that he held it responsible for the fate Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Mubarak and Abdullah, more than any other top officials, have kept in close contact with Syrian President Bashar Assad since the assassination in February 2005 of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in which Damascus has been implicated. Shalit's kidnappers are said to be from the Palestinian Hamas whose top political leadership is based in Damascus. A Saudi diplomatic source said that the situation in the Palestinian territories since the kidnapping of the soldier June 25, including Israeli airstrikes and shelling of the Gaza strip, figured prominently in the talks.

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