Moussa holds Israel responsible for cold peace with Egypt
Egypt-Israel, Politics, 3/27/2000
Foreign Minister Amr Moussa held Israel responsible for the 20-year cold peace with Egypt. In a news conference, held in Washington on Saturday and attended by members of the Arab Journalists league, Moussa said he admits that the Egyptian-Israeli peace has not passed the stage of coolness.
"This state of lukewarm reaction of the Egyptian public opinion in particular and the Arabs in general is referred to the Israeli acts in the occupied territories such as the persistence in the settlement politics, the confiscation of the Palestinian lands and the arrogance of the Israelis," argued Moussa.
"A measure of progress in the peace process and an abstention on the Israeli side from such hostile activities could surely warm that peace," remarked Moussa. "All parties share President Mubarak's hope for the resumption of negotiations and realizing progress on the pivotal issues on the Syrian-Israeli track," said Moussa, expressing hope that the Geneva Clinton-Assad summit, to be held today, would fructify positive outcome.
Moussa said he can not define the points to be tackled in Geneva by the two presidents, but for sure they will discuss the Lebanese track besides the Syrian-Israeli issues. "Egypt received assurances from Israel that Prime Minister Ehud Barak will abide by the April Understanding signed by Israel and the Lebanese resistance in 1996 and that it will not try to modify it or amend its articles," Moussa expounded.
"Compliance with UN Security Council 425 marks the basis on which the Israeli occupation should be terminated," he added. Moussa has emphatically declared that the Nile water and Israeli proposals to get a share in it is absolutely out of question simply because it is not an issue for discussion.
Moussa said it should be clear that Egypt is not against normalization between the Arab countries and Israel, noting that some Arab countries believe that starting fledgling relations with Israel is possible in parallel with any progress achieved on the various pending tracks.
"Pushing forward the peace making on the diverse tracks of negotiations and the actual movement on the peace tracks to reach the prospective settlement could help the region accept Israel," Moussa added.
On the sanctions imposed on Iraq, Moussa said they have had extremely dire consequences and caused severe and unacceptable deterioration in the human conditions. "The idea of long-standing international sanctions cannot be accepted," he added.
"The latest abstentions by three UN Security Council permanent members from voting for the latest UN resolution on Iraq should be taken into account as a significant-signal that a change and a turn in stance is obviously taking place,' he added.
On reviving President Hosni Mubarak's initiative to render the Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction, Moussa said the 'revival" is an inaccurate word. "The initiative is still live and matters are being pushed forward to make it materialize," said Moussa.
"Egypt will carry on tirelessly, and persist in its efforts in this respect to have the region freed from these weapon," vowed Moussa.
"Even if the efforts exerted by Cairo came to nothing, Egyptian diplomacy, which always calls for drawing out comprehensive agenda for any talks about disarmament in the Middle East, will never shake," he said.
On Sudan, Moussa said the US is showing interest in tackling situation over there, recalling the visit paid by US special envoy Harry Johnson to Khartoum and his talks with the government there. "Washington will likely appoint a charge d'Affaires in Khartoum soon, thus demonstrating a plausible development against the stagnation of relations between the two sides over the past years since the US Embassy staff relocated from Khartoum to Nairobi, Kenya," added Moussa.
"Egypt will underscore the importance of the Egyptian-Libyan initiative in coordination with the IGAD's, along with the ongoing reconciliation in Sudan and normalization of relations between Sudan and its neighbors" said Moussa.
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