Egypt hosts 5 party meeting to ease tensions in West Bank

Cairo, March 20 : Egypt hosts a quintet meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to calm a surge of violence in the West Bank ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. High-level security and political officials from Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and the United States took part in the meeting, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. The meeting aimed to support dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian sides to "stop unilateral actions and escalation and break the existing cycle of violence," it added. The five-party meeting is a continuation of discussions that took place on February 26 in Jordan that worked on paving the road for resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The tension between Israel and Palestinians has been rising since the start of this year. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that 89 Palestinians have been killed so far this year by Israeli soldiers, while official Israeli figures show that 14 Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians. /IANS


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