Egypt, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, is trying to avoid clashing with Washington over its very different approach to dealing with the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, an Israeli expert said here on Thursday.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is hosting a summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. Jordan's King Abdullah II will be there as well.
But Mubarak is seeking a different outcome than the one discussed earlier this week between Olmert and President Bush, said Dr. Yoram Meital, chairman of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
President Bush and Olmert met this week and reiterated their support for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, his Fatah faction and the new government Abbas installed following the violent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip last week.
Olmert has described the Hamas takeover as a "new opportunity" for Israel to engage in peace negotiations with Abbas while isolating Hamas.
"Egypt is not speaking the same language as Israel and the U.S.," Meital said in Jerusalem on Thursday.