Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Insincere Efforts at Peace?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass met yesterday in Sharm el Sheikh with President Mubarak to discuss peace efforts.

His visit to Egypt comes almost a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Mubarak in Cairo about the stalled peace process and as diplomats said Washington was drafting letters of guarantee for the peace talks.

According to Israel's Maariv newspaper, Washington is pushing a plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that foresees reaching a final deal in two years.

Abbas insited that there were no reservations on discussing the peace process, providing Israel stopped settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Egypt's attempts to broker peace come at a time when many would say the regime has lost total credibility, having taken the step of building a steel fence between Egypt and Gaza, which has been described as a "wall of death" that could seal an Israeli-led blockade by smothering smuggler tunnels from the Egyptian Sinai.

Cairo has also been in the spotlight over a delayed UK relief convoy which Egypt blocked from reaching Rafah. Although the convoy was finally allowed to reach Al Arish in the Northern Sinai, yesterday, although leading activist and British MP George Galloway has accused Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki of lying in statements issued and creating imaginary obstacles to the aid convoy.

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