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Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.wnbc.com/news/4174855/detail.html Israel, Palestinians Announce Truce Leaders Vow To Meet Soon On Issues Blocking Peace POSTED: 7:29 am EST February
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2005
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      http://www.wnbc.com/news/4174855/detail.html

      Israel, Palestinians Announce Truce
      Leaders Vow To Meet Soon On Issues Blocking Peace

      POSTED: 7:29 am EST February 8, 2005
      UPDATED: 5:15 pm EST February 8, 2005

      SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt -- A long hoped-for goal seems a
      few steps closer in the Mideast.

      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian
      leader Mahmoud Abbas met in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt,
      Tuesday, and promised to halt the violence between
      their two peoples. They also vowed to meet soon to
      negotiate the more difficult issues blocking a lasting
      peace.

      There were broad smiles and handshakes as they
      announced an end to four years of violence.

      The two leaders pledged Tuesday to stop the cycle of
      attacks and military retaliation. Abbas said he told
      Israeli Sharon that Palestinians will halt all
      violence against Israelis.

      Emerging from Tuesday's summit at Red Sea resort in
      Egypt, Abbas announced the cease-fire agreement with
      Sharon.

      "We have agreed on halting all violent actions against
      Palestinians and Israelis wherever they are," Abbas
      said.

      Sharon also made a similar pledge, saying, "Israel
      will cease all its military activity against all
      Palestinians everywhere." After a face-to-face meeting
      with Abbas, Sharon said he hoped the Palestinian
      leader would lead his people to statehood and that the
      two countries will eventually live peacefully side by
      side.

      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon shakes hands with
      Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a
      Mideast summit, Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt.

      A senior Israeli official said the two leaders have
      agreed to meet privately. Abbas has accepted an
      invitation to visit Sharon at his ranch in southern
      Israel.

      Sharon and Abbas greeted each other earlier in the day
      across a long white table as Israeli and Palestinian
      flags whipped in the wind at an Egyptian resort. It
      was their first meeting since Abbas succeeded the late
      Yasser Arafat.

      The leaders aren't signing any formal cease-fire
      document.

      A top Sharon adviser said Israel will stop its
      controversial targeted killings of wanted
      Palestinians, as long as Palestinians keep militants
      under control.

      One militant group, Hamas, isn't committing to
      anything yet.

      U.S. Reacts Cautiously

      It's certainly not the first cease-fire in the Middle
      East, and U.S. officials know that previous ones
      haven't lasted. So, they're reacting cautiously to the
      truce announced by Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

      White House spokesman Scott McClellan said halting
      terrorism and other violence would be an important
      step, but a State Department spokesman said, "Let us
      be realistic."

      Briefing reporters as Air Force One flew President
      George W. Bush to a stop in Detroit, McClellan said
      America "will continue doing its part" to aid peace
      efforts.

      Mubarak Mediates Successful Summit

      Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the Israelis and
      the Palestinians are both committed to "work together
      truly and sincerely" to make peace.

      It was Mubarak who summoned the Israeli prime minister
      and the new Palestinian leader to an Egyptian resort
      to resume peace talks. Both sides agreed to stop
      attacks on each other.

      Mubarak acknowledged the challenges are "large and
      deep," and he said what happened Tuesday is the "first
      step" on a long road.

      Speaking on behalf of himself and Jordan's King
      Abdullah, he said both the Palestinians and the
      Israelis deserve to live in peace.

      Truce Could Open Arab Doors For Israel

      The Egyptian foreign minister said Egypt and Jordan
      will return their ambassadors to Israel after a
      four-year absence, possibly within days. And Israel's
      foreign minister says that may just be the beginning.

      Silvan Shalom told an Israeli TV station, "This could
      lead to a breakthrough with many other Arab
      countries."

      Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have
      signed peace treaties with Israel. They withdrew their
      ambassadors in 2000 amid rising violence between the
      Israelis and Palestinians. Other Arab nations have had
      low-level missions in Israel.

      Shalom said the Israelis are in talks with Persian
      Gulf and North African nations to open diplomatic missions.
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