CAIRO, (Reuters) – The international Quartet of Middle East mediators may postpone a meeting planned for June 26 until it is clear what will happen in the Palestinian territories, the Egyptian foreign minister said on Saturday.
The Quartet — the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia — plans to meet in Cairo to talk about the prospects for Middle East peace. Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders were also expected to attend.
But the Egyptian minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that developments in Gaza, where the Islamist movement Hamas took control on Thursday, cast doubt on the date. “Contacts are under way between the members of the Quartet to discuss the value of the meeting, and whether it should go ahead or whether it should be postponed for some time … for developments to show,” he said.
Egypt’s attitude was not to hurry a meeting, he added.
Asked why Egypt withdrew its security delegation from Gaza on Friday, Aboul Gheit said Egypt would deal with the seat of “Palestinian legitimacy” in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is based.
But Egypt did not intend to stop mediating between Hamas and the rival Fatah movement of President Abbas, he added. “The departure of the Egyptian office from Gaza means that the situation there does not represent Palestinian legitimacy… Egypt will resume its endeavours at the appropriate time,” the minister said.