In the backdrop of Israel's deadly raid on an aid ship to Gaza, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and US Vice President Joseph Biden today discussed efforts to revive the stalled West Asian peace process.
Biden said the United States is seeking "new ways" to deal with Israeli-blockaded Gaza in the wake of Israel's deadly raid on an aid ship last week in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.
"We are consulting closely with Egypt, as well as our other partners, on new ways to address the humanitarian, economic, security and political aspects of the situation in Gaza," he said after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The two leaders held 90 minutes of talks in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The talks tackled the developments of indirect negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis and ways of lifting the tight siege imposed on Gaza Strip.
Talks between Mubarak and the US vice president also discussed the repeated tours of US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell who is mediating the indirect Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that began on May 9. Mubarak and Biden, currently on a visit to Egypt as part of an African tour, discussed ways of securing the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza Strip that has been under tight siege since Hamas took control of the coastal enclave in June of 2007.
The talks also covered Egyptian efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation, forming new Iraqi government to bring about stability in the country, developments of the Iranian nuclear file and the current situation in Yemen and Somalia as well as efforts to achieve security in Darfur region in light of the win of Sudanese President Umar Hasan al-Bashir for another term in office.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu-al-Ghayt, Minister Umar Sulayman, Biden's National Security Advisor Tony Blinken, along with other senior US officials attended the plenary session of Egyptian-US talks. Although the official sources did not mention the Nile waters, its expected that the topic was discussed today following the recent agreement between Nile Basin countries as the second leg of the US official's African tour is Kenya and he is expected to withdraw assurances for Egypt that its share of Nile waters will not be compromised.