Egypt conditionally supports Sharon's plan

Egypt is ready to support Israeli Prime Minister's Gaza disengagement plan on the condition that it becomes a stage in the realization of the road map peace plan.

Osama El-Baz, an adviser to the Egyptian president, met in Cairo with members of the Yahad faction of Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and called the plan the "democratic choice."

According to the faction's press service, Mr. El-Baz rejected claims by the Israeli right that Egypt wanted to turn a blind eye toward arms smuggling across the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

"It is in Egypt's interest to prevent smuggling, as it is detrimental to the country," Mr. El-Baz noted. He also said that the situation would considerably improve after a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza including the Philadelphia route.

Yossi Beilin, the leader of the Yahad faction, confirmed his support of the plan to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the western shore of the River of Jordan. He noted that taking measures with the consent of the Palestinians would be preferable to taking unilateral measures.

The Israeli deputies also met with Egyptian intelligence head Omar Suleiman, who acts as an intermediary in Israeli and Palestinian negotiations.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team