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by Wael Naguib, Emad Al-Azrak
CAIRO, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The Middle East region on Sunday witnessed unprecedented meetings focused on promoting the direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held separate talks with Israeli, Palestinian leaders and U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell.
Analysts believe that through these extensive meetings, the two sides will be set to start direct talks, maybe secretly, although the indirect negotiations have not been so fruitful.
"The two sides will agree on moving to the direct talks secretly to ensure its success like what happened with Oslo," Fakhry al-Tahtawy, a professor of political affairs at Cairo University, told Xinhua on Sunday.
Emad Gad, an Israeli affairs expert with Egypt's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, also told Xinhua on Sunday that Palestinians and Israelis will start secret direct talks soon.