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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah
Photo: AP
French foreign minister in Jerusalem
Photo: AFP
Jordan, Egypt demand end to Gaza siege
Egyptian president, Jordanian king meet at Sharm el-Sheik, demand that Israel ‘put an end to its military operations, which claim innocent civilian lives’
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah met Saturday at Sharm el-Sheik, condemning the Israeli “siege on the Gaza Strip” and calling for “an end to the blockade on the Palestinian people, which causes them much suffering.”

 

Jordanian news agency Petra reported that the Jordanian king and the Egyptian president also discussed a host of other bilateral issues during their meeting, while also outlining the steps that can be taken in order to enhance cooperation between the two countries in various arenas.

 

The two leaders furthermore called on Israel to “put and end to its military operations, which claim innocent civilian lives”, and to “take steps that indicate its earnest desire to reach a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors, as well as a region-wide accord.”

 

Mubarak and Abdullah also indicated that every effort must be made to “reach a fair and just region-wide peace accord which will bring security and stability to the entire Middle East.” They pointed out that “working towards peace is the only way to ‘rescue’ the region from the clutches of violence and turmoil.”

 

French FM also calls to end blockade

The two leaders indicated their support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, noting that its various institutions would do much to “bring a sense of unity to the Palestinian people, and defend their national interests.”

 

They also stressed the urgent need to establish a stringent timetable for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks overseen by the international community, so that the window of opportunity offered by the Annapolis peace conference would not close.

 

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also called for an end to the Gaza siege Saturday, as well as calling on Israel to halt all construction within West Bank settlements.

 

The French minister met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank city of Ramallah. In an interview to Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, Kouchner noted that economic and humanitarian conditions in Gaza are appalling, and called for an end to the blockade on the Gaza which will allow goods and people to move freely in and out of the Strip.

 

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