Egypt, Syria prepare for Arab summit

March 20, 2002 at 11:35 AM
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CAIRO, March 20 (UPI) -- The presidents of Egypt and Syria held talks in Cairo on Wednesday to unify their position in advance of the Arab summit next week, Egyptian sources said.

Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's peace proposal to end violence in the Palestinian territories and restart the stalled Middle East peace process was at the top of the agenda for the meeting between President Hosni Mubarak and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad, the sources said.

Syria's Information Minister Adnan Omran said earlier the Cairo talks would cover developments in the Palestinian territories and U.S. military threats against Iraq, with the aim of drafting united Arab resolutions with mechanisms to enforce them.

A flurry of inter-Arab diplomatic activity was underway ahead of the Beirut summit. Mubarak also held talks Wednesday with Omani Foreign Minister Yusif bin Alawi on the summit's agenda. Tuesday, he met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Crown Prince Abdullah has suggested the Arab states could normalize relations with Israel in return for its withdrawal from territories it has occupied since the 1967 war.

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