Israeli sources reported that Egypt is preparing a proposal for a
four-way summit that would host leaders from Egypt, Israel, Jordan and
the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli sources reported that the office of Ehud Olmert is in favor of the idea, and that Israeli officials have no problem with the summit as long as this idea is brought up during a meeting tomorrow between Olmert and the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak. The meeting will be the second between Olmert and Mubarak, and according to Israeli sources, will be used by Olmert to bring up three key issues: a possible prisoner exchange deal between Israel and the Palestinians, the establishment of a ‘regional support network’ for the Palestinian President and his Fateh party, and the Egyptian control over the Egypt-Gaza border.
Mubarak plans to raise the issues of a promised return of $100 million of Palestinian tax money that had been seized by Israel but was promised by Olmert to be returned, the prisoner exchange between Israel and the Palestinians, and a request for Israel to expand their ceasefire, currently partially in force in Gaza, to the West Bank.
Egypt holds an important position in any peace talks in the region since it enjoys good relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Egyptian leaders said that this summit could be a good opportunity to advance the peace talks in the region.
The most recent summit that brought Abbas with the Israeli prime minister (then Ariel Sharon) was held two years ago.
Suleiman Awad, a spokesperson of the Egyptian President, said on Wednesday that the summit aims at breaking the impasse in the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians. The Al Watan news paper published in Saudi Arabia reported that a four-party summit would offer the possibility of new negotiations, as well as forming the basis for the establishment of a Palestinian state.