BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Jeremy Cooke
"Everything now depends on a cease-fire agreement "
 real 56k

President Clinton
"Our central objectives must now be to stop the violence"
 real 56k

The BBC's Frank Gardner
"Not everyone in the Arab world wants this summit to happen"
 real 28k

Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Mid-East leaders agree to talk
A policeman kicks out burning tyres in Jerusalem
A policeman kicks out burning tyres in Jerusalem
The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have both agreed to attend a Mid-East summit to try to bring an end to the current wave of violence.

About 100 people - most of them Palestinians - have died in more than two weeks of disturbances, which began after right-wing Israeli politician Ariel Sharon visited a disputed site in Jerusalem which is sacred both to Jews and to Muslims.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said no preconditions had been lodged by either side for the summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, in Egypt on Monday, although he added there had been "suggestions of certain demands".


I will do everything I can to minimise the violence and to do all the preparation necessary to maximize the chances of a successful meeting

President Clinton
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had earlier insisted that he would only attend talks if Israel first withdrew troops from the entrances to Palestinian cities, lifted a security cordon on West Bank towns and agreed to an international investigation into the violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, for his part, had insisted that Palestinian violence would have to cease before dialogue could resume.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will host the summit which will also be attended by President Clinton, Kofi Annan and Jordan's King Abdullah.

In a short statement, Mr Clinton said the task now was to halt the violence, restore calm and agree on a "fact-finding mechanism" which would review what had happened and consider how to get negotiations back on track.

Mr Arafat is already in Egypt and has held talks with Mr Mubarak.
Israeli police
Israeli police were out in force for the Palestinians' "day of rage"
Our correspondent Clive Myrie says it is unlikely that the Palestinian leader has dropped his demands completely. "Rather, the UN Secretary-General has probably convinced him that his demands will be addressed in Egypt," he said.

A US official told the BBC that the purpose of the meeting would be to give the parties a reason to step back and pause to consider the consequences of the violence of the past few weeks, and to put in place measures to stop it happening again.

But BBC Middle East analyst Tim Llewellyn points out that the aim of the Egyptian summit was limited to discussing how to stop the current wave of violence, and that the future of the peace process still looked "grim".

And the summit is not being welcomed by everyone.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, was quoted as saying that such a peace summit was an attempt to kill the Palestinian uprising and would only serve what he called "American and zionist goals".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme before the announcement, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "What is important is that President Arafat and Prime Minister Barak talk together because, as we well know from Northern Ireland, if you leave a vacuum, events - which are usually violent events - determine the cirumstances."

The fear is that, if the summit should fail, then the Middle East violence could spread beyond the borders of Israel.

Day of rage

Jordanian man and child
Protests in Jordan against Israeli security force action
Unrest continued during Friday, with at least one Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli security forces, and dozens injured.

Palestinian factions throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip declared Friday to be a "Day of Rage", and the Israeli authorities imposed heavy security measures.

At least one and possibly two Palestinians were shot dead in separate incidents in the West Bank town of Hebron.

In the town of Ramallah, an Israeli tank crew opened fire with machine guns on Palestinian marchers, injuring four people. And in Bethlehem, 15 youths were shot and injured, one of them seriously.

There were also casualties in the West Bank towns of Jenin and Salfit, and in the Gaza Strip.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

14 Oct 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
Only pain uniting the divided
14 Oct 00 | Americas
Mid-East tension ripples in New York
13 Oct 00 | Middle East
In pictures: Anti-Israel protests
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories