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Egypt, Jordan Leaders Meet Ahead Peace Conference

Leaders of Egypt, Jordan Meet Ahead of Middle East Peace Conference

King Abdullah II of Jordan, left, during a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, 22 Nov 2007

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has hosted the leaders of Jordan and the Palestinians at three-way talks in preparation for a major U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace conference next week.

Mr. Mubarak met Thursday with Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

On Wednesday, Egypt and Turkey became the first two Muslim nations to confirm their participation in Tuesday's peace conference in the U.S. city of Annapolis near Washington.

Other Arab states are expected to decide on their attendance during an Arab League meeting in Cairo Friday.

The United States has invited nearly 50 nations and organizations to the conference, including several Arab states that do not recognize Israel, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria. There has been no final word on whether Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, will attend.

Egypt, Jordan and Turkey maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. Mr. Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are to attend the peace conference.

Israeli and Palestinian officials are trying to complete a joint document to be presented at the conference. The document would address core issues such as final borders, security, the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.


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