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Mubarak, Netanyahu discuss resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks

RIA Novosti

03:18 14/09/2009 CAIRO, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at a meeting in Cairo, Egypt's MENA news agency has reported.

Netanyahu paid a one-day visit to Egypt on Sunday. The Israeli delegation also included Interior Minister Eliyahu Yishai and National Security Advisor Uzi Arad.

"The [Egyptian] president called on the sides to continue negotiations on a permanent border for the Palestinian state," Egyptian presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said after the talks.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak comes shortly after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sanctioned the construction of 455 new homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. During the meeting, Mubarak called on Israel to halt all settlement activities in the West Bank.

"President Mubarak called on Israel to halt all settlement activities, including those necessitated by the natural growth of existing settlements," the spokesman said.

The issue of Jewish outposts has become the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, and a sticking point in relations with the United States, Israel's main strategic ally.

Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement construction activity and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001.

Arab League head Amr Moussa said last Wednesday that Arab countries see no reason to normalize relations with Israel while Tel Aviv continues building illegal settlements on the occupied Palestinian land.

Meanwhile, U.S. Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell arrived late Saturday in Israel to help start Israeli-Palestinian talks before the two sides meet at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23.

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