Mubarak discuss issues with writers, intellectuals
Egypt, Politics, 1/28/2000
At his expanded dialogue with writers, intellectuals and journalists after the inauguration of the 32nd session of Cairo International Book Fair, President Mubarak said Egypt is keen to convene an Arab summit.
Mubarak told the gathering there is an Arab unanimity on convening the summit, provided it should be preceded by good preparations so that it may be successful.
The President voiced hope that the summit would be regularly convened in the future on the lines of the summits of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
President Hosni Mubarak said that Egypt is keen to maintain stability in Sudan without interference in its internal affairs.
"President Mubarak said Sudan has embarked on achieving reconciliation at the international level," said Minister of Information Safwat el-Sherif.
"The Sudanese people is keen to maintain good relations with Egypt and the outside world," Sherif added, quoting Mubarak.
"The Kosheh violent incidents were sparked by a material clash between two individuals and capitalized on by sedition agitators who rampaged with fueling rumors," said President Mubarak.
Mubarak declined to further elaborate on the issue, emphasizing that the culprits will be punished and that law does not discriminate any Egyptian from another.
He wondered about what is being propagated by some who are propelled by foreign agitators abroad, a conduct he believes is targeting stability of the country.
"There is no difference between a Muslim and a Christian whether on rights or duties, and all have the right to access leading positions according to their qualifications, not to their religions," said Sherif, quoting the President.
"Egypt will never allow any tampering with its stability whatever were the circumstances," said Mubarak, emphasizing that the Emergency Law will not be frozen in order to maintain national security.
Middle East Peace Process
Shifting to the Syrian-Israeli negotiations, Mubarak said any efforts to restore usurped rights often stumble on hardships.
"With determination and perseverance, Egypt managed to retrieve all of it national soil by war, negotiations and arbitration," recalled Mubarak.
"Progress on the Syrian track hinges on how far Israel is committed to implementation of the agreements signed with the Palestinians," noted Mubarak. "Failure to implement the signed accords and adoption of evasive tactics create an atmosphere of mistrust and set many obstacles on the road of negotiations," he added.
President Mubarak asserted Syria's keenness on realizing just peace based on international legitimacy.
He pointed out US President Bill Clinton's efforts to advance the Syrian-Israeli track of negotiations.
On the difference between Syria and the Palestinian government and prospects for establishing amity between the two sides, President Mubarak said that Egypt was doing its best on that score. Differences have got to come to an end, President Mubarak said, adding that he believed that making progress in the peace process would bring closer the views of Syria and the Palestinian government.
Sherif went on to say that President Mubarak pointed out that had the Arab tracks been appreciative of the Camp David agreement, the situation today would have been altogether different.
Drawn on reports about the convening of an Arab summit this Spring, President Mubarak said no date has yet been set for the summit and that all Arab states concurred that such a summit should be preceded by a well-studied agenda.
On Egypt's participation in the multilateral talks
President Mubarak said it will do so now that the Syrian-Israeli track has got underway.
"Egypt's participation is aimed at expounding its stance on the nuclear issue and its efforts to free the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction," he added.
On major national projects, Sherif quoted President Mubarak as having said that he had given the government directives on accomplishing those projects in accordance with set timetables.
President Mubarak singled out Toshka as a vital enterprise that will create a new valley for coming generations.
President Mubarak then spoke about a new law that would streamline litigation in personal-status matters and said the People's Assembly is currently discussing the bill.
President Mubarak declined to air his personal opinion on the subject for fear of influencing the People's deputies.
Asked on the privatization of railway services, President Mubarak said that the services were receiving LE 1.8 billion annually from State budget and that privatization would lead to price hikes at the expense of commuters who would not be able to afford them.
Free Media Zone
On the free media zone project in the Sixth of October City, Sherif said President Mubarak pointed out that the project had been studied and that the existing Media Production City already offered its services to Arab and foreign channels.
On injecting political and executive posts with "young blood", Sherif said President Mubarak cited a government policy working in that direction, but on condition that hopefuls should have the necessary expertise, efficiency and grooming.
"The key leaderships should adopt the principle of providing a second generation with the opportunity to access the suitable leadership positions," President Mubarak told intellectuals at the Cairo Book Fair.
Mubarak Encourages Women to Take Part in Elections
President Mubarak said he encourages women to take part in elections, provided they were capable of winning through active campaigning. He added that the most important thing is that they must be able to promote the interests of citizens.
Regarding demands to beef up women's representation at the People's Assembly, President Mubarak said he is empowered by the Constitution to appoint no more than ten members. He added that he took into consideration the striking of a balance involving the naming of a number of women and Christians.
The President dismissed as incorrect reports that some businessmen were prevented from travel. He said the State cannot prevent any person from traveling abroad as this is the authority of the judiciary. He said rumors to this effect are baseless.
No to Withdrawal
Answering a question on withdrawal of some People's Assembly members during the discussion of the personal status bill, the President said he does not approve of the principle of withdrawal as he is for the freedom of expression and discussion.
Mubarak Honors Cluster of Egyptian Writers
President Hosni Mubarak Wednesday honored a number of Egyptian writers and intellectuals whose works had won the 1999 Best Book Award.
Also honored were all the works issued by the Family Library which is sponsored by First Lady Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak.
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni is due to fete the winners and present them with prizes at a ceremony at the Nasr City exhibition grounds today evening.
Mubarak assures adherence to Sudan's stability
Mubarak inaugurates 32nd Book Fair
Cairo book fair opening tomorrow
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