Gheit: Other Arab states may form Israel ties

On eve of a visit to Israel with his Jordanian counterpart to advance an Arab peace initiative, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Tuesday that other Arab countries may join later in the contacts with Israel. "The committee's statement pointed to the possibility for a larger working group to contact and consult Israeli government about the peace settlement," Aboul Gheit said in a statement. "This is on condition that Israel stops its measures in the occupied territories," he said. He mentioned lifting measures imposed after the start of the Palestinian uprising in 2000, including an economic blockade, halting the building of the security fence and excavations at Jerusalem's Mughrabi gate.