Mubarak urges Israel to ease tension, carry out Mitchell's recommendations
Egypt-Palestine, Politics, 6/2/2001
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak received US Middle East peace envoy William Burns who arrived in Cairo on a brief visit to Egypt.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher and US ambassador to Egypt Daniel kurtzer attended the meeting.
Following the meeting, Burns said contacts are continuing with the parties concerned, recalling in this regard the latest security meeting between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
"These contacts aimed to find out a way to put the Mitchell committee's report into force," said the US envoy.
He urged the two sides to do their utmost to tone down tension and resume negotiations.
Burns said he would present to President George. Bush and State Secretary Colin Powell a report on his contacts.
Burns said he does not believe that a military solution is the means to end this violence and that it is necessary for the two peoples to have this problem resolved.
He said he is determined to carry on with the efforts to water down violence and set a plan by which Mitchell's report would be placed into action.
Ahmed Maher quoted US envoy William Burns as saying during his meeting with President Hosni Mubarak early Thursday that Mitchell's report is a whole and indivisible package that should not be implemented selectivly.
"The job of the US envoy is to agree with the Palestinian and Israelis sides to forge a plan with a timetable to put the report into force" said Maher.
President Mubarak pointed out that it is important for Israel to take steps that would alleviate tension and show real intention to implement the report's recommendations, especially in what regards halting settlements or expanding the existing ones, added Maher.
"Palestinians should feel that Israel is seriously interested in implementing the recommendations highlighted by the report," said Maher.
On the other hand, President Mubarak received a message Thursday morning from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The message was conveyed by Yevgeny Primakov, leader of the Fatherland Bloc in the Russian Parliament (DUMA) and Former Prime Minister, when President Mubarak received him at the presidential palace in Heliopolis.
Foreign minister Ahmed Maher and Russian ambassador in Cairo Andrei Denisov attended the meeting.
Primakov held talks during his two-day visit to Cairo with Maher, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and People's Assembly Speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour.
Primakov will leave Saturday for Libya, his fourth leg in his current tour of the region.
After the meeting, Maher said talks covered the Russian role in the Middle East peace process.
He voiced Egypt's keenness on encouraging Russia to play an active role in the region.
Asked whether this role will be equal to that of the US, Maher said," the issue is not about equality.
The Russian role is important and we would like Russia to play an active role. Primakov, on his part, said his talks with Maher dwelt on the latest Middle East developments.
Asked about his impressions after visiting a number of Arab countries, he said the Arab world wants to activate and strengthen the Russian role in the peacemaking.
"It is time to expand Russia's role as a mediator," he said.
About the Arab feeling that the Russian support for Arab cause with regard to the Palestinian issue has been diminishing, Primakov said the parties concerned with the Middle East crisis did not actively call for Russia's participation in the peace process.
Commenting on this, Maher said, "There has been always an Arab desire for more active role by Russia."
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