Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, June 22: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's speech at the Cairo university is a milestone in the fight against terrorism. She rejected state of emergency, arbitrary administration of justice and violence against peaceful demonstrators. She criticized the Egyptian government more strongly than any other U.S. minister has during the 30 years that the countries have cooperated, regarding human rights.
This is an invaluable signal, as the political opposition wins the election in Lebanon, and as the leaders of Israel and Palestine meet to solve common problems. Every small step forward in the Middle East is a giant leap for humanity -- not least when it comes to security.
The Egyptian Gazette, Cairo, June 21: Vigorous efforts spearheaded by Egypt and the United States over the past few days rekindled hopes for a breakthrough in the Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit made a short visit at the weekend to Israel, aimed at prodding the Jewish state to coordinate a planned withdrawal from Gaza Strip with the Palestinian Authority. The same aim was at the center of talks which U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held with Israeli leaders during her current Mideast tour.
The Egyptian-U.S. moves have set the scene for today's summit meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The meeting is their first get-together since a landmark summit in Egypt in early February. Since then, Israel has been seen dragging its feet on complying with the "understandings" reached with the Palestinians during the summit in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik.
Today's talks are most likely to focus on coordination between both sides in carrying out a smooth and orderly Israeli pullout from Gaza.