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WORLD REACTION

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Peres, Arafat unlikely to meet despite plea from Bush

By JOHN STACKHOUSE, The Globe and Mail
With a report from Associated Press
Saturday, September 15, 2001

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appeared to turn down a personal appeal from U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday for Mideast truce talks to move ahead this weekend.

Mr. Bush called Mr. Sharon to urge him to allow Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to go ahead with a planned meeting tomorrow with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

But as violence continued in the region, Mr. Peres said Mr. Sharon told Mr. Bush he does not think Israel should be sitting down with the Palestinian leadership. The Peres-Arafat meeting has been tentatively planned for tomorrow at the Gaza International Airport.

Continuing tension in the Mideast could prove to be a sharp thorn on Mr. Bush's path to a proposed international coalition against terrorism.

A Palestinian man was killed and another seriously wounded early this morning during clashes with Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis. Three other Palestinians were wounded, the Palestinian health ministry said.

In Beit Hanoun, a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed yesterday by Israeli fire. Two Israeli border policemen were wounded by a hand grenade thrown at their post.



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