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Egypt, Israel: More time needed before restarting talks

May 27, 1997
Web posted at: 12:55 p.m. EDT (1655 GMT)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (CNN) -- The leaders of Israel and Egypt said at a peace summit Tuesday they need more time and consultations with the Palestinians before stalled Middle East peace talks can be restarted.

leader photo

"We need another meeting and we need more deliberation," said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a three-hour meeting at the Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh.

Netanyahu called the meeting "a positive beginning" but said more work was needed "to achieve progress."

"I am convinced that if there is a sharing of our desire to solve the outstanding matters and move the peace process forward with security, then I think we can move forward," the Israeli leader said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
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AIFF or WAV
No winners or losers
(162 K / 14 sec. audio)
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The next stage
(247 K / 25 sec. audio)
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The Israeli peoples' mandate
(128 K / 14 sec. audio)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak:
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Egypt will not exert pressure
(288 K / 20 sec. audio)
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What issues were discussed
(162 K / 14 sec. audio)
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Will Arafat attend the next meeting?
(264 K / 24 sec. audio)

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat abandoned the peace talks in March after Israel began construction on a Jewish housing project in Jerusalem. Netanyahu refuses to halt construction on the project.

The Egyptian position, Mubarak said, is not to pressure either side into resuming talks, but rather to find common ground that would allow their resumption.

Mubarak represented the Palestinian position in Tuesday's summit after meeting with Arafat on Monday. During the news conference following the summit, Mubarak said it was unclear if Arafat would attend the next meeting between the Egyptian and Israeli leaders.

Mubarak did speak by phone with Arafat during the meeting, and said he would hold a face-to-face meeting with the Palestinian leader in the near future.

Reuters contributed to this report.

 
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