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Biden, Mubarak Discuss Middle East Talks

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met Monday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and said afterward that both leaders reiterated their commitment to peace in the Middle East.

The two men held talks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Biden said they discussed indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He said the U.S. is also consulting with Egypt on new ways to address humanitarian and economic concerns of Palestinians living under a three-year-old Israeli blockade in Gaza.

Last week after Israel intercepted an international flotilla of aid heading for Gaza, Mr. Mubarak opened Egypt's border with Gaza to allow humanitarian aid into the Hamas-ruled territory.

Biden said he and Mr. Mubarak also discussed concerns about Iran's nuclear program, including its noncompliance with the U.N. Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency. He said both the U.S. and Egypt also have concerns about Iran's support for militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

Biden added that the two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to supporting stability in Sudan, and he said the U.S. looks forward to a continuing dialogue with Egypt on subjects such as Egypt's ongoing political and economic reform.

Later Monday Biden travels to Kenya for a three-day visit. He will become the highest-ranking member of the U.S. Obama administration to date, to visit that country.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.