Mubarak, Abdullah ready to help put Mitchell's report into force
Regional-USA, Politics, 5/24/2001
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah II of Jordan informed President George W. Bush of their readiness to cooperate with the US in order to encourage Palestinians and Israelis to implement the Mitchell's report recommendations, a White House Spokesman said late Tuesday.
The two Arab leaders welcomed, during two phone calls they received from Bush late Tuesday, Washington's support for the Mitchell's report released on Tuesday, the spokesman Arie Fleisher said.
The two telephone conversations also dealt with the escalation of violence in the region and recommendations of the Mitchell's report on means to stop confrontations and bring back both sides to the negotiating table.
President Bush is committed to facilitate bringing peace to the Middle East, said Fleisher, noting that Bush is extremely concerned about the level of violence in the region.
The best way to reach this goal is to capitalise on Mitchell's report to stop violence and start negotiations with the US playing a facilitating role, added the spokesman.
Bush believes that there will be a positive effect in case the leaders in the region join his call on the parties concerned to observe self-restraint.
Mitchell's report is the proper vehicle to launch into this new stage in the region, remarked Fleisher.
Responding to a question about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's order to the army to cease fire, Fleisher said Bush welcomes the order and would like to see Palestinian President Yasser Arafat ordering the same.
To have the parties sit together and reach a Middle East peace, it is necessary to call clearly for violence cessation, said the spokesman.
Late on Tuesday, US State Department spokes man Richard Boucher said that Washington has embarked on working with the parties concerned to help put into effect the recommendations of Mitchell's report.
Contacts between Washington and the leaders in the region are proceeding via their ambassadors to encourage the fighting parties to adopt the necessary steps to put Mitchel's report into action.
US Ambassador to Jordan, William Burns, who has recently been appointed as a special assistant and envoy to the region will join the efforts that started with a meeting between US Ambassador in Israel Martin Indyk and his compatriot Consul General to Israel Ronald Sleicher. Indyk and Sleisher met on Tuesday with Sharon and will meet later with Arafat, said the spokesman.
Burns is also expected to head for Israel within the next two days.
Fleisher refused to elaborate on the content of the meeting between Indyk and Sharon, noting only that the new contacts are focussing on Mitchel's report.
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