Mubarak, Abbas discuss ‘peace process’

President Hosni Mubarak met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Monday to discuss the so-called peace process ahead of a planned visit to Washington by Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman.

Mubarak also held talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II on ways to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and Egyptian efforts aimed at reconciling feuding Palestinian factions.

In a related development, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that Mubarak will attempt to persuade Abbas to accept a US plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within two years. The plan, the paper reported, would include US and Israeli peace "guarantees."

"President Mubarak said that Jerusalem must be on the agenda of negotiations and that settlements must stop," Abbas said in press statements following his discussions with Mubarak.

On promised "peace guarantees," Abbas said: "We’ve heard of this, but haven’t seen anything yet." Abbas also called on Palestinian resistance faction Hamas to sign an Egyptian proposal for inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

Hamas Politburo member Mohamed Nasr, for his part, said: "We haven’t yet received an invitation from Egypt to resume negotiations, but we’re keen on reconciliation."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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