Abu al-Ghait gave away few details of how Cairo intended to help avoid any descent into chaos on its doorsteps after Israel's pullout.

 

But he said in a press conference with Arafat on Monday, that he had updated the leader with President Husni Mubarak's assessment of the situation and of a measure which would soon be implemented.

 

"We heard the ideas of President Arafat and our Palestinian brothers and have briefed them on Cairo's evaluation of the regional and international context and of ways of putting into place a series of measures in the near future," he said.

 

While Abu al-Ghait did not give any details about the "measures", the head of the Palestinian police force, General Saib al-Ajaz, said 45 of his officers would soon travel to Cairo for training.

 

Little progress

 

Arafat thanked Egypt for its efforts to revive the peace process and appealed for the implementation of the roadmap peace plan, the international blueprint which aims for the creation of a Palestinian state next year.

 

The roadmap has made next to no progress since its launch last year amid mutual accusations by the Israelis and Palestinians that its terms are being violated.

 

The Gaza pullout forms part of a larger program of "disengagement" being pursued by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the absence of any progress in the bilateral peace process.