Middle East peace process continues despite current difficulties
Egypt, Politics, 5/2/2000
"The Middle East peace process is continuing despite the difficulties facing at this stage," the Egyptian Presidential Political Adviser.
Interviewed by the Paris-Based "Al Sharq Radio", Osama Al Baz, voicing hope that negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks would resume shortly, said Israel's unilateral withdrawal from South Lebanon would be a step towards liberating other occupied Arab lands.
"Israel should withdraw beyond the June 4, 1967 borders in line with UN Resolution 425," he added.
"Israel would be mistaken to think it could pull out from south Lebanon and then freeze negotiations on the Syrian track," Baz pointed out.
"Egypt is keeping up efforts, under the leadership of President Mubarak, to push forward the Middle East peace process so that prosperity and stability could prevail in the region,"Baz told the radio.
Baz reiterated that comprehensive, just and durable peace in the Middle East could only be achieved through full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, the creation of the Palestinian State and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes.
Such peace would be in the interests of Israel and all the countries of the region, Baz argued, and asserted the importance of the roles of the US, Europe and all parties concerned with the Middle East peace process in riding out the obstacles impeding regional peace efforts.
Baz denied that Egyptian-Syrian relations were in any way strained and said a summit meeting will be held shortly between Presidents Hosni Mubarak and Hafez Al Assad.
On the Egyptian-Libyan initiative on realizing reconciliation in Sudan, Baz said its aim is not to impose certain condition on Khartoum's political society, but rather offers a proposal, in tandem with another initiative sponsored by the inter-governmental authority for development, on how to realize stability in Sudan and ensure national unity and territorial integrity.
Speaking of prospects for lifting the UN sanctions against Iraq, Baz, while strongly calling for ending the suffering of the Iraqi people through rolling back the UN embargo, said Baghdad should seek to reassure its gulf neighbors that Iraq would never, again, be a source of any threats to them in the future.
Israel shoulders responsibility of repatriation of Palestinian refugees
Door wide open for progress on Syrian track
Egypt asserts Palestinians' right to statehood
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