Israel's withdrawal only way to stop current deterioration
Egypt-Palestine, Politics, 11/18/2000
Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa lauded the outcome of the Euro-Mediterranean conference which wound up meetings in the French port town Marseilles Thursday evening.
He underlined the importance of Arab participation in the conference to expose Israeli claims and keep the Europeans in the picture on the latest developments in light of the continuous Israeli attacks on the unarmed Palestinians.
The Egyptian official told a press conference that the Mideast peace issue topped the conference's discussions for almost five hours on Wednesday and were completed earlier in the day.
He added that Arab side answered all the suggestions raised by Israeli acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami before the European ministers.
He expressed Arab states' support for Syria and Lebanon's non-participation in the conference due to Israeli presence.
The Egyptian official denied any inter-Arab disagreements over moving towards peace, ending Israeli practices, stemming violence and resuming peace talks.
He denounced Ben-Ami's view of the regional events. There were many mistakes in the Israeli stance and accordingly, an Arab and Egyptian participation in the conference was a must to present things as they really are.
Moussa said that his meeting with Ben Ami came at the request of the Israeli official who asked for Egypt's interference to reverse the current tensions.
Moussa said that he had told the Israeli official that Israel's withdrawal was the only way to stop current deterioration in the situation. He added that he had taken up the tense situation in the region during talks with Ben-Ami.
Moussa said that the Europeans were alarmed over the Mideast situation and urged the peace process be rebuilt and confidence restored.
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