UN peace envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Ankara. Annan met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and is scheduled to meet with Syrian opposition members on Tuesday. Annan said:
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Secret meetings between Palestinian intermediaries, Egyptian intelligence officials, the Turkish foreign minister, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal --- the latter requiring a covert journey to Damascus with a detour round the rebellious city of Deraa --- brought about the Palestinian unity which has so disturbed both Israelis and the American government. Fatah and Hamas ended four years of conflict in May with an agreement that is crucial to the Paslestinian demand for a state.
A series of detailed letters, accepted by all sides, of which The Independent has copies, show just how complex the negotiations were; Hamas also sought --- and received --- the support of Syrian President Bachar al-Assad, the country’s vice president Farouk al-Sharaa and its foreign minister, Walid Moallem. Among the results was an agreement by Meshaal to end Hamas rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza --- since resistance would be the right only of the state --- and agreement that a future Palestinian state be based on Israel’s 1967 borders.
A simple stroll through the streets of downtown Cairo reveals the achingly obvious and unfortunate truth about the city. The first thing that leaps to mind is the complete impasse as far as traffic congestion and pollution are concerned. Almost equally obvious is that urban planners have not necessarily been kind to pedestrians. The emergence of new suburban and industrial zones is contributing to Cairo’s rapid expansion and is constantly posing new problems of environment and infrastructure.