Egyptian President Advisor Osama El-Baz said Sunday that Egypt would only help implement the disengagement plan if Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declares that the plan is part of the first phase of the road map.
El-Baz was speaking before members of the Israeli Yahad party Knesset faction, who are visiting Egypt.
El-Baz rejected Israeli right wing claims that Egypt wants to turn a blind eye toward arms smuggling across the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, saying that preventing arms smuggling was in his country interest.
El-Baz said that it was difficult for Egypt to prevent smuggling as Egypt did not have enough forces to combat such activities.
Meanwhile, the London based AlSharq Alawsat newspaper reported Sunday that the Head of Egyptian security Omar Suleiman would visit Gaza city in his way to Washington.
According to AlSharq Alawsat, Suleiman will discuss with both Palestinian and Israeli officials Gaza withdrawal arrangements, especially arrangements to ensure the safety of the Egyptian security team.
As well, top U.S. National Security officials, including, Steven Hadly and Eliot Abrams, are expected in Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming few days.
The delegation would discuss with Israeli and Palestinian officials arrangements to implement the proposed Gaza Withdrawal.
American sources reported that a State Department committee would meet with representatives from Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority in Washington to discuss the fulfillment of both Israel and the PA of their Road Map obligations.
Earlier in the week, Israeli governmental sources said that Israel is opposed to holding such a meeting.
Egyptian sources reported that the Israeli Foreign minister Silvan Shalom, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha’ath, Head of Egyptian Security Omar Suleiman, and U.S. envoy to the Middle East William Burns will join the meeting, which is expected to take place in October.
As well, in its Sunday meeting in Ramallah, the PLO executive Committee dismissed the idea of forming a separate committee to administrate the Gaza Strip after the Israeli Withdrawal, confirming that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are parts of the same homeland and would only have one united authority.
Committee member Saleh Rafat told reporters that Presidential and Parlemetarian elections will be held at both West Bank and Gaza at the same time, adding that only municipal elections would be carried out gradually.