Mubarak: Sharm el-Sheikh meeting has no negative effect on Arab Summit
Regional, Politics, 10/20/2000
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak dismissed suggestions that the two-day Sharm el-Sheikh meeting will have a negative effect on the Arab Summit, which is scheduled to be held in Cairo Saturday-Sunday.
In an interview carried by the Orbit 2 Channel yesterday, President Mubarak wondered: how can Sharm el-Sheikh meeting abort the Arab Summit. The Sharm el-Sheikh meeting was held to help the Arab Summit.
The President said that Arab leaders had agreed to have the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting held after President Mubarak discussed the matter with them.
President Mubarak pointed out that it was not possible to wait until the Arab Summit is held October 21-22 when Palestinians were being killed and the number of martyrs was rising. And it was not possible to advance the date of the Arab Summit because there were many difficulties, which stood in the way, he said.
President Mubarak said Egypt received no orders from any country in the world. "We still live under the illusion that the United States gives us orders. We should know that the world has changed."
The President said that it was totally untrue that the United States had asked for a postponement of the Arab Summit or that it had asked that Sharm el-Sheikh meeting be held.
Mubarak said that the calls of war and high-sounding statements should be dropped. "War is a complicated word. It does not solve any issue. Let us be logical and stop using the word war."
Mubarak recalled that Egypt fought in 1973. But war did not resolve any issue. There should be negotiations and a peaceful solution.
President Mubarak said that so long as there is an opportunity for negotiations, this opportunity should be used. War should be the last resort. It has terrible consequences and its results are not guaranteed.
The President said that we should not be driven by emotions. Wisdom and logic should reign because impulsive decisions have serious results. "I have to consider the interests of the people first. We should understand the situation in all its aspects. Any ruler should know the trend of public opinion in his country. If public opinion does not reflect a true understanding of the situation, it should be made aware of this" He added.
Reviewing the reasons which made it necessary to call the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting President Mubarak said the meeting was called to put an end to a deteriorating situation, ease the pressure on Palestinian citizens, lift the siege and re-open crossing points.
Then there were other points that include appointing an investigation commission and the peace process and its course. Big efforts were made to achieve this, the President said, to the extent that he made 64 telephone contacts with the parties concerned.
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