Arab Envoys and Israelis Meet to Talk Mideast Peace

[New York Times] Isabel Kershner - The foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan held joint meetings with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Wednesday, their first as envoys of the Arab League. Israeli officials hailed the visit as "historic" while the Arab officials spoke of a "historic opportunity." The Arab League made clear that the Jerusalem meetings did not represent a normalization of relations between the group and Israel, according to Al Jazeera. "This visit comes at the wrong time," said Yitzhak Reiter, a professor of Middle Eastern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "There is no clear and legitimate partner on the Palestinian side," he said, referring to the constitutional crisis afflicting the Palestinian system since Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza last month. The Jordanian foreign minister expressed "full support" for Abbas and his government as a "legitimate partner to engage in negotiations with Israel." But Egypt is known to favor a quick return to dialogue between Abbas' Fatah party and Hamas - a development Israel would oppose.

2007-07-26 01:00:00

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