Mubarak downplays recent Israeli statement by Sharon
Egypt-Israel, Politics, 2/4/2002
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday downplayed the importance of recent statements by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in which he expressed regret that he did not liquidate Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat during the invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
"I do not want to censure anybody," the President said, in statements on the sidelines of laying down the cornerstone of a new Egyptian museum. The President added that thinking of finishing Arafat off or eliminating him will not lead to peace.
On recent Palestinian-Israeli contacts, President Mubarak expressed hope that these would be fruitful so that the Mitchell recommendations and Tenet plan be implemented and negotiations be resumed anew.
Asked about his imminent visit to France and his talks there, President Mubarak said France has floated the idea of holding Palestinians elections before raising the issue of 'the state'.
"I do not know whether the Palestinians will accept these elections or not,' he added. 'The Palestinian Leader is an elected one," he said.
On contacts with US President George Bush and other American officials on the situation in the occupied lands, President Mubarak noted that these contacts were maintained.
He expressed that hope progress would be soon made to end the violence and resume peace talks.
Mubarak demands Israel to ease blockade on Arafat
Mubarak discusses with Ben Eliezer best solutions for halting violence
Ben Eliezer appreciates Mubarak's peace efforts
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