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Israeli adviser: Egypt proposing Mideast peace conference


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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Egypt is proposing a Mideast peace conference in October, according to Moshe Debi, an adviser to Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

The October talks would include Israeli and Palestinian foreign ministers, as well as foreign ministers from the "Mideast Quartet" -- the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, Debi said.

The summit agenda is still unclear and no concrete steps have been taken, according to Debi.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have recently centered around a controversial barrier that Israel is building in and around the West Bank. The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a Palestinian-backed resolution calling on Israel to dismantle the barrier.

Israel says the barrier is needed to prevent terrorist attacks on Israelis. Palestinians charge that it is a land grab.

The Palestinian Authority's leadership is also facing an internal power struggle, as the Palestinian parliament is pressuring Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat to accept his prime minister's resignation.

The two top Palestinian leaders ended up at loggerheads Tuesday when Arafat refused to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, but Qorei said he would not back down and withdraw his resignation.

Qorei turned in his resignation after a corruption scandal, and Arafat's handling of it, prompted thousands of Palestinian demonstrators to march through the streets in Gaza, attacking Palestinian Authority offices and wounding at least 10 people.

Qorei said Gaza was in "chaos" and called on Arafat to implement reforms that Qorei has been pushing for months.


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