CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday he will meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat later this week. He also said the United States is prepared to send U.S. observers to the region to help monitor enforcement of a Palestinian-Israeli truce.
"That would help with the confidence-building, the restoring of trust between the two sides, get us back to where we were a few years ago," Powell said after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
U.S. participation on the ground has been a key demand of Mubarak and other Arab leaders the United States is trying to enlist in the peace process.
For the first time, Powell said positively that he intends to meet with the Palestinian leader during his peacekeeping trip, as well as with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He said he would talk with both leaders about a truce and political talks leading to creation of a Palestinian state.
With Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher at his side, Powell said the United States will "do everything within our power to bring this violence to an end."
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