UN chief Ban in Cairo for intense Gaza truce bid
CAIRO (AFP) - United Nations (UN) leader Ban Ki Moon arrived in Cairo on Monday to bolster Egypt-brokered efforts for a ceasefire in Gaza which officials said could end the conflict before it escalates into an Israeli ground invasion.
Mr Ban will inject heavyweight impetus into the peace effort, meeting Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi before flying to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian chief Mahmud Abbas.
Egyptian mediators have been hosting marathon indirect talks between a Hamas team led by Khaled Meshaal and an Israeli envoy, which an Egyptian official said had produced "encouraging signs" on ending the crisis, now in its sixth day.
"The Secretary-General wishes to add his diplomatic weight to these efforts, which are considerable and extremely important," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters from Cairo on Mr Ban's arrival.