Palestinian sources reported on Saturday that David Welch, assistant of the US secretary of state, will arrive in the region on Monday to meet with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazin), and the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Welch visit will apparently focus on preparations for the Abbas-Sharon summit, which will most likely to be postponed in order to enable the parties conduct the needed preparations.

Palestinian cabinet minister and chief negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat said that he hopes that Walsh’s visit will contribute to the success of Abbas-Sharon summit.

“The success of this summit depends on procedures on the ground, this includes Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian areas, releasing the detainees and ending the deportees and wanted fighters files”, Erekat said, “Israel should also halt its settlement activities, halt the construction of the Wall, and its procedures to isolate Jerusalem”.

Erekat also said that Israel should open the Rafah border crossing, and stop all sort of violence against the Palestinians.

“We also have our responsibilities”, he added, “We have to maintain law and order, only one weapon whould be allowed; the weapon of the P.A”.

Also, Erekat said that there are no pressures practiced against Abbas in order to postpone the legislative elections, adding that Abbas issued a decree stating that the elections will not be postponed.

“The Egyptians are also calling for conducting the elections without delay, Abu Mazin will not delay the election even for one day”.

On Friday, Erekat met with Sharon’s advisor Dov Weissglas, and discussed with him several issues including the implementation of the Road Map Plan, and the Sharm Al Sheikh understandings. 

Sharon and Weissglas will meet again on Sunday to conduct further preparations to the Abbas-Sharon summit which will most likely take place on Tuesday.