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Arafat in Egypt for Talks With Mubarak

From Reuters

Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat arrived in Egypt on Wednesday for talks with President Hosni Mubarak that analysts said would probably bring renewed calls for a Middle East peace conference.

Arafat told reporters at Cairo airport that Israel’s new tough conditions on its plan for Palestinian elections in the occupied territories proved that Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir had been trying to buy time with his proposals.

Shamir last Wednesday bowed to pressure from hard-liners in his Likud Party and agreed to bar Arabs in East Jerusalem from voting and to continue building Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Shamir also ruled out any Palestinian state and said the election to select Palestinians for talks on interim self-rule would not be held until the 19-month-old uprising in the occupied territories had ended. As a result, Israel’s Labor Party has threatened to withdraw from its government coalition with the Likud Party.

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