Mubarak discusses with Burns US proposals on final settlement between Palestinians and Israel
Egypt-USA, Politics, 6/1/2002
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discusses with Burns US proposals on final settlement between Palestinians and Israel
President Hosni Mubarak met yesterday at the presidency headquarters with Assistant US Secretary of State William Burns and his accompanying delegation and discussed with him final settlement between the Palestinians and Israel and Mubarak's visit to Washington next week.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher and US Ambassador to Egypt David Welch.
Burns was accompanied during his visit by the Director of National Security Council for the Middle East.
Burns' talks in Cairo fell within the framework of arrangements for the visit to Washington next week by President Mubarak and his talks with US President George W. Bush.
Burns described talks with President Hosni Mubarak as excellent.
In statements to reporters, Burns said he asserted to the Egyptian leader the strong commitment of President George W. Bush to reaching a peaceful settlement to the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
"Washington will act on three axes, namely the resumption of the Middle East peace process in order to reach a solution based on the establishment of two states, assistance to the Palestinian to establish Palestinian bodies in preparation for the establishment of the Palestinian state and the building up of effective Palestinian security elements," he added.
He said it is difficult to reach a final peaceful settlement to the crisis without these three axes.
Burns said that his talks in Cairo came upon directives by President Bush in preparation for the arrival of CIA Director George Tenet within the coming couple of days to hold expanded talks on setting up a plan of action on security issues.
As for the visit to the United States next week by President Mubarak, Burns said the visit falls within the framework of the partnership between Egypt and the United States, referring to President Mubarak's key role in the Middle East peace process and efforts to settle the Palestinian and Israeli crises.
He voiced belief that partnership between president Mubarak and President Bush is very important in reaching a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.
Burns said that the Palestinians are suffering and that their conditions got worse and they need humanitarian assistance.
President Mubarak also received Javier Solana, European Union International policy and Secretary Chief and his accompanying delegation.
Solana described his meeting with Mubarak as lengthy and marked by a very good spirit within cooperation with Egypt and the other international parties concerned to push forward the peace process.
Solana said his visit to Cairo came after his one to Moscow, at the onset of a one-week Middle East tour.
The tour aims to give a shot in the arm to the political process in the region in light of the tragic crisis witnessed by the area, said Solana after meeting with President Mubarak Thursday.
The EU wants to extend a helping hand on both the political and economic aspects in order to build the Palestinian Authority, (PA) institutions and structures, said Solana, adding he will meet with Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat later to discuss the form of EU assistance in this respect.
He expressed hope over more cooperation among all the parties within the efforts exerted by President Mubarak, one of the most important leaders undertaking a pivotal role in the Middle East peace process.
"The EU is trying in this stage to back the efforts of the United States, Russia and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan," he said.
The international efforts at present are focussing on three axes: pushing forward the current political process, continuing to help the PA economically and politically and setting the stage for restructuring the PA, including the security apparatus.
On whether Solana was carrying new proposals in his tour he said there are no certain European proposals but the objective is to assist the PA in the measures it can adopt.
Asked whether he views a genuine Israeli pullout could help in pushing ahead the political talks and whether he will notify Israel of this during his talks with Israeli officials, Solana said an Israeli withdrawal could help realize peace, adding he will notify the Israelis of this viewpoint.
On the proposed international peace conference in the Middle East, Solana said in order to proceed ahead, international meetings should be convened in this regard.
"This will be the theme of the talks with the leaders in the region during this tour," said the EU official.
On whether he discussed the idea of this conference with President Mubarak, Solana said he discussed it with President Mubarak and will discuss it with the Mideast leaders too.
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