President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday briefed Egypt’s military leadership on the Israeli government’s response to Abbas’ letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Abbas briefed Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi on the situation in Palestine as Israel continues expanding settlements and blockading Gaza, which also shares a border with Egypt.
According to the Cairo-based Middle East News Agency, Abbas applauded Egypt’s support to the Palestinian people, namely the role Egyptian officials recently played in brokering an agreement between Israel and hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.
The ambassador of the Palestinian Authority to Cairo, Barakat al-Farra, said Abbas and Tantawi addressed the peace process, reconciliation talks and bilateral relations between Egypt and Palestine.
PLO official Saeb Erekat attended the meeting along with Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina and al-Farra.
The Palestinian Authority and the Arab League have agreed to take action at different levels to recruit international support for the question of Palestine, especially the case of prisoners in Israel’s custody.
Earlier, Arab League secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi and Erekat told reporters that a committee of the Arab Peace Initiative would consider holding a meeting soon.
“I will start today consultations with member countries of the Arab Peace Initiative seeking to hold a meeting during which President Abbas will update Arab countries on the response he received from the Israeli government,” said al-Arabi after he met with Abbas.
Al-Arabi added that he and Abbas discussed the Israeli response to Abbas’ letter, which they called completely negative and irresponsible.
For his part, Erekat said Abbas and al-Arabi discussed the issue of prisoners in Israel and agreed to ask the UN General Assembly to appoint a special envoy for Palestinian prisoners.
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