Mubarak, Arafat discuss progress of negotiations with Israel
Egypt-Palestine, Politics, 6/10/2000
Egypt's President Mubarak held talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during which they reviewed progress of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the upcoming Summit in Washington between US President Bill Clinton and the results of the latest tour of the region by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said following the one hour talks that the implementation of the agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israelis is slow and does not mount up to the level hoped for thus overshadowing prospects for reaching a settlement.
Moussa said President Clinton and the US Administration could play a significant role in forcing the Israeli government to observe its obligations regarding the third redeployment as provided in Sharm El-Sheikh agreements which have not yet been carried out.
Asked whether the early elections in Israel would be a pretext to gain more time, Moussa said it could be, especially that there are pledges and commitments on the side of Israel, that need to be implemented.
"Presidents Mubarak and Arafat only touched upon the issues of Jerusalem, refugees, borders and settlements," Moussa asserted.
"We hope the coming meetings in Washington would begin to address these issues as soon as possible," Moussa said.
On the expected outcome of the Clinton-Arafat Summit, Moussa said "we expect US President to push the Israelis and the Palestinians toward a balanced and peaceful settlement."
Moussa said, moreover, that Israeli Premier Ehud Barak will not attend the Washington Summit, an Egyptian statement said.
Regarding the situation on the Syrian track, Moussa underlined the importance of working on both the Syrian and Palestinian tracks so as to realize comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
Moussa hoped the US Administration would work for pushing ahead talks on the Palestinian and Syrian tracks. On Barak's recent pledges to abide by the peacemaking process, Moussa said it all hinges on Barak's concept of peace.
"Peace means a withdrawal from all Syrian territories to the June 1967 border line, the West Bank and Gaza, recognition of the Palestinian state and an agreement on security arrangements," Moussa elaborated.
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