Mubarak, Ciampi urge Israel to show positive approach towards peace
Egypt-Italy, Politics, 2/20/2001
Egypt's Information Minister Safwat El Sherif, speaking to reporters following a summit meeting between President Hosni Mubarak and his Italian counterpart Carlo Ciampi, said the talks had covered the situation in the region and obstacles to restarting the peace talks.
"The two presidents expressed concern over the deterioration of the situation and underlined the importance of (International) efforts to bring the tragic situation facing the Palestinian people to an end," Sherif said.
The two leaders, Sherif continued, also reviewed the situation in Iraq in light of last Friday's bombing of Baghdad.
"Their talks also tackled the outcome of Italian President's recent visit to Jordan. President Ciampi reiterated his country's firm stance calling for a just peace for all parties in the region."
Presidents Mubarak and Ciampi voiced hope that the new Israeli government would show positive approach towards the Middle East peace-making, especially the Palestinian track, Sherif said.
"President Mubarak called on Israel to apply a new policy towards the peace process and take positive steps to end violence."
"Israel should clearly declare resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians from the point reached by negotiations with the previous Israeli government," Mubarak was quoted as saying.
Hawkish Ariel Sharon, who trounced outgoing labor Party Prime Minister Ehud Barak in poll earlier this month wants to restart talks with Palestinians on a new basis.
He also demands that the five-month-old Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation should stop before the talks are resumed.
Mubarak warned that Israel's insistence to impose a new basis for peace would further complicate the situation.
"President Mubarak also called for a clear and responsible (Israeli) stance towards peace and to revive the peace culture. He said the arena should not be left for irresponsible extremists," Sherif said.
The Egyptian leader, who started a three-day visit to Italy on Sunday, also warned against shelving any issue in future Palestinian-Israeli final status talks.
"Delaying any issue that was discussed during previous negotiations (with the labor party government) is not acceptable ,especially the issue of Jerusalem,' Sherif Quoted Mubarak as saying.
The future of the occupied Jerusalem is at the heart of the current Palestinian uprising, which started after Sharon violated a Muslim holy site in the occupied city.
More than 400 Palestinians and 13 Israeli Arabs have been killed by occupation soldiers during the uprising.
The Egyptian and Italian leaders also urged a stronger European role in the regional peace-making.
"The two leaders agreed that Europe in general and Italy in particular should play a special role in bringing the Middle East peace process back on track," he said.
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