Sunday, July 8, 2007

Arab League to make first official visit to Israel

Haaretz :
The foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan are expected to lead an Arab League mission to Israel this week for talks on a pan-Arab peace initiative, the first visit to Israel by an official delegation from the 22-member organization, Israeli officials said.

The visit would mark an important diplomatic accomplishment for Israel, since the Arab League historically has been hostile toward it. But the league has grown increasingly conciliatory amid the rise of Islamic extremism throughout the region - a concern underscored by Hamas' recent takeover of the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli official said Sunday that Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit were expected in Jerusalem within a few days for talks on the Arab peace proposal and how to support Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with Hamas.

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