German FM in Egypt
Egypt-Germany, Politics, 8/21/2001
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher held talks late Monday with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer who arrived in Cairo early Monday.
Fischer will leave for Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Following the talks late Monday Maher and Fischer had a joint press conference in which Maher welcomed Fischer and said that Germany plays an active role helping regional parties to solve their problems.
Maher described talks as very successful and tackled promoting bilateral relations as well as the situation in the Middle East. He voiced Egypt's appreciation of German efforts.
On his part, Fischer said that he had talks with President Hosni Mubarak few weeks ago.
"Germany supports the call for the implementation of the Mitchell Commission report, the termination of violence and the launch of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations," said Fischer.
Asked about Germany's stance, Maher said that he believes that Germany seek to ease the situation and end practices that complicate the situation.
He added that Germany would do its best for a political settlement to be reached.
Asked about issues addressed during the meeting, Fischer said that his meeting with Maher focused on the conflict in the Middle East as well as bilateral relations and German efforts for reducing violence and terrorism in the region.
"The meeting also took up means to implement the Mitchell recommendations, accepted by both the Palestinians and Israelis, as well as confidence-building measures and efforts that can be exerted by the European Union (EU) in cooperation with the US," said Fischer.
Maher said that he did not post Fischer on the outcome of meetings of the Egyptian delegation in Washington.
He added that some ideas were presented to the Americans and they commented on them and Egypt received US ideas and gave comments on them too.
"Egypt and the US seek to ease the situation and re-launch peace negotiations," said Maher.
He declined to call the Egyptian ideas an initiative and preferred to call them a wilingness to reach a joint target that is a comprehensive peace in the region.
"Egypt holds constant contacts with the Palestinians," said Maher.
He added that the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 as well as the land-for-peace formula and other Palestinian-Israeli agreements should be implemented.
"Germany seeks to stop the deterioration in the situation which is harmful not only to regional countries but also the Europeans," said Fischer.
Asked whether he carries a message form Egypt to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Fischer said that he had deep talks with Maher and added that he would convey to Sharon what he listened to in Egypt.
Asked why he cut short his Middle East tour, Fischer said that he should attend a session in the German parliament on the dispatch of German troops as part of NATO forces in Macedonia.
He added that he would resume his tour after the end of the Parliament session with visiting Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Asked whether Security Council meetings could cast shadows Arab foreign ministers' meeting, slated for Wednesday in Cairo, Maher said that the SC debate is part of the whole situation.
He noted that there are no contradictions between the Security Council debate and the Cairo meeting.
Commenting on Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres' initiative for a dialogue with the Palestinians on a cease-fire and resuming negotiations, Maher said that he knows nothing about these ideas.
Egypt welcomes any just ideas that would lead to an end to Israeli aggressions and a peaceful solution, he added.
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