Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet soon with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem to coordinate the intended Gaza Pullout, including security arrangements following the withdrawal of Israeli troops, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Monday.
If the meeting takes place, it would represent the first time the two leaders meet since the February 8 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.
“Sharon and Abbas plan to meet in a short time in Jerusalem.” Shalom said.
"We are trying very hard to coordinate with the Palestinians in order to make sure the Gaza Strip areas Israel leaves behind do not come under the sway of Hamas” Shalom told reporters outside an EU-Mideast conference.
Shalom gave no date, saying it was a matter of setting a timetable, assuring the existence of goodwill on both sides.
He gave no date but said the only thing preventing him from giving one was a matter of "timetables. There is goodwill on both sides."
Israel plans to begin withdrawing from Gaza in mid-August.
Shalom is currently visiting Luxemburg for a semi-annual meeting related to the European Partnership political and economic cooperation with the Middle East countries.
Shalom called the EU officials to push for establishing nonpolitical regional projects that all the Euro-Mediterranean countries would benefit from.
There is a need for "joint projects with all the Arab countries related to agriculture, water, environment, health and commerce," said the Israeli FM, adding that there are two chances a year to "all meet in this room with, FMs of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and others, it is not just a meeting for dinner, we must reach tangible results."
He remarked that Israel has signed a joint project with the United States and Egypt that "could be used as a model for regional cooperation."