Egyptian FM: American efforts to resume peace process reap scant success

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday said American pressure to revisit Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations has made only nominal headway.

"The American side is making an effort to help the peace process succeed and resume direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis but these efforts have not yet achieved their goal," Abul Gheit told Egyptian state television following discussions with American counterpart Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Abul Gheit said he discussed Washington’s current developments and future stratagems with Clinton as well as the likelihood that the US will be able to convince the relevant parties to return to the negotiating table. The two officials also reportedly discussed Washington’s ability to encourage Israel to cease settlement construction.

"The discussions included inquiry into alternative plans in the event that Israel refuses to stop construction in settlements," Abul Gheit added.

Abul Gheit arrived in Washington on Tuesday to review a number of regional issues of mutual concern between Egypt and the US.

Egyptian news reports show Arabs support resumption of the embattled peace process.

Reports also suggest the new extension will not exceed one month. The council on the Arab peace initiative will meet at the end of November or the first half of December.

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