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Leaders of Egypt, Yemen Call for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal


The leaders of Egypt and Yemen have expressed support for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

During talks Saturday in Cairo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his Yemeni counterpart, Ali Abdullah Saleh, also focused on finding ways to make peace between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

Egypt has served as a mediator between Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, and the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Also Saturday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner toured the West Bank, meeting with Palestinian President Salam Fayyad in Jenin and Mr. Abbas in Ramallah.

Kouchner said at a news conference with Mr. Abbas that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is not likely by the end of the year, but he pledged greater European involvement in the peace process. Mr. Abbas said peace talks will continue despite upcoming leadership changes in Israel.

Mr. Abbas praised Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel's lead negotiator in talks with the Palestinians. Livni is seeking to form a new coalition government after her recent election as leader of Israel's ruling Kadima party.

Earlier, Mr. Fayyad praised France for its support of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Kouchner plans to meet Sunday with Israeli leaders.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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