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Egyptian-Palestinian leaders meet

Abbas and Mubarak in Egypt - Jan 2009
Mubarak has been holding meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss efforts to restart Israeli and Palestinian peace talks.

The talks come days after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu met Mr Mubarak.

The US is reported to be drafting letters of guarantee for talks to be delivered to Israel and the Palestinians in the coming weeks.

According to Israel's Maariv newspaper, the US is pushing a plan that aims to reach a final deal in two years.

Under the plan, the newspaper reported, Israelis and Palestinians will immediately start final status talks that were suspended more than a year ago.

US President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on the two sides to resume peace talks, but the Palestinians have demanded Israel first freeze all settlement activity.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman are planning to visit Washington on 8 January for talks with officials there.



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