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The Arab League appointed Egypt and Jordan to hold talks with Israel on a Saudi initiative for regional peace. Meeting Wednesday in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers decided that Egypt and Jordan the only two members of the forum to have established full ties with the Jewish state would make up a working group tasked with persuading Jerusalem to adopt the Saudi proposal. Israel has voiced interest in the proposal despite misgivings over its call for a full Israeli withdrawal from territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and ambiguous language on the Palestinian demand for a refugee “right of return” to Israel. Political analysts say the Olmert government is trying to circumvent deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian talks through contacts with the Arab League.

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