MENA: Abbas, Mubarak to meet on developments in Palestinian territories

MENA: Abbas, Mubarak to meet on developments in Palestinian territories

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is due to arrive here Saturday afternoon, will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the latest developments in the Palestinian territories, Egypt”s official MENA news agency reported Friday.

Abbas would brief Mubarak his recent intensive meetings with U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington, as well as his meeting with President Vladimir Putin during his Moscow tour, Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Nabil Amr was quoted as saying.

Abbas and Mubarak will also discuss Egypt”s efforts to reach a reciprocal Palestinian-Israeli truce agreement, Amr added.

According to the Palestinian envoy, Abbas, during the meeting, underlined that a truce would be in the interest of the Palestinian people and conducive to creating a positive atmosphere to help push ahead with the peace talks with Israel and provide chances for deepening Palestinian national unity.

Amr reiterated his backing of Egyptian endeavors to reach a truce between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

After his meeting with Abbas on Thursday in Washington, U.S. President George W. Bush expressed confidence that Israel and the Palestinians can reach an agreement on the Palestinian state by the end of this year.

Also on Thursday, Hamas held talks with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman in Cairo and agreed to a ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip first before it is extended to the West Bank within six months.

However, Israel dismissed on Friday the proposal by Hamas to make a conditional six-month truce in the Gaza Strip, calling it a ruse aimed at allowing the Palestinian Islamist group to recover from recent fighting.