Egypt eyes Mideast Quartet meeting Nov 9

A007060513.jpgEgypt is planning to host a meeting of the Middle East peace Quartet on November 9, the same day Palestinian groups begin reconciliation talks in Cairo, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.“There are ongoing talks to hold the meeting on November 9,” Hossam Zaki told AFP, adding that the talks in the Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh will review the status of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The Quartet is composed of the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union. It was launched in 2002 to oversee implementation of a US sponsored “roadmap” for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Sharm meeting will take place almost a year after US-hosted talks in Annapolis, Maryland, sought to revive the peace process, although little visible progress has been made since then.

The two sides remain deeply divided on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, including the future status of Jerusalem, the fate of some 4.6 million Palestinian refugees and continuing Israeli settlement activity on occupied land.  

The Quartet has come under criticism from aid agencies, which warned last month that it was “losing its grip” on the peace process and must radically revise its approach.

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