Arafat meets with Mubarak today
Palestine-Egypt, Politics, 4/1/1999
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian President President Yasser Arafat today met to discuss the results of talks the Palestinian president and US President Bill Clinton held in Washington on declaring the Palestinian state on May 4 and steps that should be taken in light of Washington's opposition to declaring this state at that date.
The ambassador of Palestine to Egypt, Zuhdi al-Qedra, said Arafat's visit to Egypt will last for several hours and that his talks with Mubarak fall "in the context of continued consultations to withstand the Israeli intransigence in refusing to implement agreements signed on the Palestinian track."
The Palestinian ambassador indicated that talks between the two sides "will deal with the declaration of the Palestinian state in light of the European Union backing for the Palestinians to self-determination," which means the EU recognition of the Palestinian state. He asserted the determination of the Palestinian people to proceed in building their independent state with Jerusalem as a capital.
Arafat's visit to Cairo comes prior to the Asia tour the Egyptian President intends to start on Monday, which will cover China, Japan, and South Korea. Al-Qedra said the question of recognizing the Palestinian state and its future will be discussed during President Mubarak's tour.
Diplomatic sources in Cairo told the London-based al-Hayat daily said that ittheyexpect that within the next few days Arafat will announce the postponement of the declaration of a Palestinian state for another six months as well as an extension of the provisional period at US guarantees.
The sources stressed that the postponement decision is "a Palestinian decision" and that Cairo backs any decision taken by Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.
Meantime, Chairman of the PLO political department Farouk al-Qaddoumi has proposed the establishment of a Palestinian state in exile, including all Palestinian resistance groups, and to be announced when declaring the Palestinian state, so as to monitor negotiations on the final status.
In Doha, Qatar on Wednesday announced its backing for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The Qatari Cabinet welcomed what had been advocated by the EU at its Berlin summit in voicing support for the establishment of the Palestinian state.
Arab League hails EU statement on Palestinian state
US wants an extension of Palestinian-Israeli talks beyond May 4th
Jordanian, Egyptian, Palestinian foreign ministers meet today
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