CAIRO, (Reuters) – A summit meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been postponed after Israel contacted the Palestinian side, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Wednesday.
The summit had been scheduled for Sunday but a surge in violence in recent days had cast doubt on the meeting.
"The Israeli side got in touch and this meeting was postponed. We don”t want the meeting just for the sake of meeting. On the contrary, we want a meeting that is well prepared," Erekat told reporters in Cairo.
"We want to come out with a successful summit, so this summit will be held when the preparation is ready," he said, after talks between Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Abbas came to Egypt to seek Mubarak”s intervention after days of violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian groups.
Egypt has contacts both with Israel and with the Palestinian militants who have fired rockets into Israel.
Israel had already cancelled a meeting to prepare for the Sunday summit after rockets from Gaza landed in Israel.
Erekat called on Israel to resume immediately negotiations with the Palestinians on "final status" issues — including the borders of a Palestinian state, Jerusalem and refugees.
The Israeli government says the priority must be for Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to dismantle militant organisations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Erekat also asked for intervention with Israel by the Quartet of international peace sponsors — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.
"We must concentrate now on … warning the Israeli government to carry out its obligations, because the Palestinian side alone cannot take the responsibility," he said.