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Still Shaken, Mideast Leaders Meet Again

Sat., June 8, 1996

Still shaken by the election of a hard-liner to head Israel, the leaders of Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia worked toward a common strategy Friday for their dealings with the Jewish state.

The mini-summit convened by Syrian President Hafez Assad was the third involving Arab leaders in the last 10 days since the May 29 election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli prime minister.

The Saudis and Egyptians have indicated that while they are prepared to give Netanyahu time to spell out where he stands on such issues as Jewish settlements, an independent Palestinian state and the Golan Heights, they do not want the peace process to founder.

Egypt’s foreign minister, Amr Moussa, said the leaders were prepared to give Netanyahu the benefit of the doubt, but only for “a matter of weeks, not longer.”

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