Photo: AFP
United front: King Abdallah (L) and Mubarak
Photo: AFP
Photo: Reuters
Working to thwart Olmert's plan. Abbas (L) with EU's Javier Solana
Photo: Reuters
Abdullah, Mubarak oppose realignment plan
Mubarak, King Abdallah meet in Sharm el-Sheikh, express objection to unilateral Israeli steps. Earlier, PA President Abbas says: 'We are working to get Olmert's plan off the table'

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah met Sunday afternoon at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and released a joint statement expressing their objection to "unilateral Israeli steps."


Abbas (L) and King Abdullah in Amman (Photo: AP)  


Jordan's official news agency, Petra, quoted the statement as saying that "every step should be carried out through direct negotiations with the Palestinian side and in accordance with the Road Map, which leads to a sustainable Palestinian state alongside Israel."


The two leaders expressed concern over the infighting between Palestinian factions, and called for a renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinians.


"The meetings focused on the work needed to minimize the current tension between Hamas and Fatah," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.


Abdullah and Mubarak also addressed the aid to Palestinians approved by the Quartet and expressed support for the move.


Representatives of the Quartet approved the plan by the European Union to transfer emergency Euro 100 million aid plan to the Palestinian Authority.


'Road Map basis for dialogue'


Members of the Quartet – the United States, the EU, Russia, and the UN released a statement saying that the money will reach the PA through a channel bypassing Hamas, and transferred to welfare and health bodies, as well as other basic needs agencies. Representatives of the Quartet called on Israel to join the initiative.


Earlier, PA President Mahmoud Abbas met with King Abdullah in Amman and called on all Arab states to oppose the realignment plan. "We are working to strengthen our ties with our Arab neighbors to get Olmert's plan off the table and to return to the Road Map as a basis for dialogue," he said.


A senior Egyptian official said Mubarak and Abdullah also discussed attempts to ease tensions between Jordan and Syria following the capture of Hamas cells in Jordan a few weeks ago; the cells apparently entered the country carrying explosives from Syria.


Mubarak is scheduled to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday, and a Mubarak-Abdallah-Assad summit is expected to be held next weekend.


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