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Cairo pushes peace talks with Israel

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak has held separate meetings with head of Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan’s King to push for “progress” in the Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Jordan’s King Abdullah and Mubarak called on the world community “to intensify efforts to ensure the accomplishment of the two-state vision,” said a joint statement carried by Petra news agency.

“The two leaders discussed obstacles that face the achievement of progress in peace efforts that seek to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict” on the basis of the two-state formula, the statement added.

Acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas and Abdullah also met at Cairo airport before leaving Egypt, the official MENA news agency reported without revealing details of the talks.

The talks came two days after the failure of the latest attempt by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell to reach an agreement to renew peace talks in talks with Abbas.

Abbas reportedly briefed Mubarak and Abdullah II on his recent meeting with Mitchell.

The PA refused to buckle under US pressure to resume direct talks with Israel.

Abbas insists the conditions he set forward “were just and based on a genuine Palestinian will” to enter peace talks.

“We are rational and believe in our rights and the search for peace for our people,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, however, rejected any preconditions and urged Abbas to come to the negotiating table “right now.”

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