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Sharon-Abbas Meeting Could Take Place Thursday - 2003-05-28

Amid a flurry of diplomatic maneuvering a series of high level meetings to discuss the latest international peace plan for the Middle East seems to be taking shape. While definite dates have not yet been confirmed, the meetings are seen as vital to get the peace plan off the ground.

The first piece of the diplomatic puzzle waiting to fall into place is a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas.

According to Mr. Abbas the talks will likely take place Thursday in Jerusalem.

The Sharon-Abbas meeting would send a positive signal for President Bush to go ahead with a summit meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers in the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba. Summit host will be Jordan's King Abdullah.

The meeting could take place Thursday of next week, but that date has not been confirmed.

Prior to the Aqaba summit, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is expected to host a meeting of President Bush and several Arab leaders in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheik.

Egyptian sources say a likely date is June 4, but that date has also not been confirmed.