Olmert. Imagination
Photo: Flash 90
Photo: Reuters
Mubarak. Clout
Photo: Reuters

Olmert, Mubarak to meet in Sharm el-Sheik

Prime minister to meet Egyptian president for last-minute prep session before Annapolis peace conference. Mubarak expected to use his pull on Syria, Saudi Arabia to convince them to attend Washington meet

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, Ynet has learned.


The two will meet in Sharm el-Sheik as part of some last-minute preparations for the Annapolis peace conference.


Olmert and Mubarak are expected to discuss the regional expectations from Annapolis, as well as the following negotiations with the Palestinians and the upcoming Arab League foreign ministers' meet, scheduled for Friday, in Cairo.


The Arab League has scheduled a special session on the nearing peach conference in an attempt to create a unified Arab front for Annapolis.


According to the London bases Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, the Arab League's session will be headed by Saudi Arabia and its Secretary General, Amr Musa.


Mubarak is considered a point-man both in the Arab League and in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process. Friday's meet is expected to host delegates from Syria and Saudi Arabia – none of which have confirmed their attendance in Annapolis.


The appearance of support

Olmert wishes to create the appearance of a pan-Arab support to the politics that might derive from Annapolis. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office told Ynet Mubarak's political clout amongst the Arab nations just may be enough to convince Syria and Saudi Arabia to attend the Annapolis peace conference, and might even convince some of the other Arab nations that have yet to confirm their attendance to follow suit.


On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to officially invite the 40 states which have expressed their desire to attend the conference, to Annapolis.


Some of the Arab participants will delay their official response until after the Arab League meet in Cairo. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, members of the Quartet, the European Union's residing Portuguese president and dozens of African, European, Asian and Middle East nations have already confirmed their attendance.


Annapolis' schedule will see Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni host a series of meetings in Washington next Monday, followed by a US State Department gala dinner, led by Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President Bush.


The delegates will leave for Annapolis on Tuesday morning, with the last Bush-Olmert-Abbas meeting scheduled for the late afternoon. The meeting will be followed by a joint statement, or separate ones by all three, followed by a gathering of all delegated.


Roee Nahmias contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 11.19.07, 11:17
 new comment
This will delete your current comment