Egyptian FM: ME conference to be held Sept. in NY

Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Thursday that a Middle East peace conference called for by US President George W. Bush would be held in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Aboul Gheit said that ahead of the conference, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will discuss its agenda with Arab foreign ministers on July 31 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheik. "Egypt's vision is that the meeting should handle a wide number of issues," including "launching the peace process in active negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian parties," Aboul Gheit told reporters at a press conference in Cairo. However, Suleiman Awad, the Egyptian presidential spokesman, later told The Associated Press that it was not yet clear when or where the Middle East conference would be held.