Abbas arrives in Cairo for talks with Mubarak

By Xinhua,

Cairo : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived here Saturday evening from the Jordanian capital of Amman for talks with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak on the Palestinian issue.

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The two leaders are expected to discuss efforts exerted to push ahead the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel, the Egyptian state MENA news agency reported.

The Palestinians and Israel resumed peace talks during a U.S.-sponsored peace conference last November, with an aim to clinch a peace agreement before the end of this year.

However, no tangible progress has been made so far in the negotiations which would pave the way for a Palestinian statehood alongside Israel.

Abbas and Mubarak will also tackle Egypt’s mediation to maintain a truce in and around the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip between Hamas-led Palestinian groups and Israel.

On June 19, the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel took effect in Gaza. But the indirect talks between Hamas and Israel on a possible prisoner swap and the opening of Gaza crossings have made little progress.

On July 16, Hamas made an announcement to halt the talks with Israel on the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit until Israel and Egypt open the closed Gaza border crossings.

Hamas accuses Israel of not properly lifting the sanctions on the Hamas-controlled Gaza despite Palestinian commitment to the ceasefire which succeeded in restoring sort of calm in and around the Palestinian enclave.