Mubarak: statement on Shiites not meant to doubt loyalty
Egypt-Iraq, Politics, 4/15/2006
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak said his statements to Al Arabiya news channel last week did not cast doubt on Iraqi Shiites' loyalty to their country.
Speaking to "Akhbar El Youm," Mubarak said that his responses to questions carried warnings of future threats that could undermine Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The Iraqis need all sort of support to face up to the challenges they are currently facing, he said.
"My statements on Shiite addressed allegiance and religious compassion without the least reference to undermine their nationalism," he said.
"Egypt pays no attention to trivialities and does not jump to conclusions," said the President, adding that "all we have in mind are the high interests of the Iraqi people."
"Our efforts to assist Iraq know neither racial nor sectarian divisions," he said, noting that Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites and other components of the Iraqi mosaic are "Iraqis and brothers of ours."
On Iran's nuclear file, Mubarak said Cairo is exerting efforts to evade escalations. "We have repeatedly warned against resorting to force in addressing the Iranian nuclear issues," he said.
Diplomatic channels must be used to settle this crisis, he said.
Egypt is committed to rendering the Middle East a mass destruction weapons-free area, with Israel included, he pressed.
Possession of nuclear arsenals in the region would raise doubts and fears of others and consequently force them to seek similar weapons, he cautioned.
"The welfare and progress of the people of Iran is a significant issue for us as a fellow Muslim nation," said Mubarak.
"Egypt is the home of Al-Azhar and its university which spread Islam and tolerance across the world," said Mubarak. "We respect all religions and sects," he added.
On the Egyptian national unity, Mubarak said individual incidents would not mar the Egyptian example of religious tolerance, adding that such mishaps would be faced with full determination to counter any attempt to play havoc with national unity in Egypt.
On Syria-Lebanon file, Mubarak said he was holding contacts with the two sides in tandem with international legitimacy to settle differences between them.
On the western Sudanese region of Darfur, Mubarak said Cairo will host a meeting attended by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qathafi, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir within the framework of the African Union efforts to defuse the tension there.
On Egypt's efforts for settling the Syrian-Lebanese crisis, Mubarak said he is keen to keep in touch with all parties for settling any problems that emerge between any two sisterly countries.
On fulfillment of the President's electoral pledges, Mubarak said the government was exerting efforts to put into effect his pledges to the voters during his presidential election campaign.
"I personally follow up during ministerial meetings the accomplishment of the promises to the people," he said.
The electoral platform had various angles and they will proof fruitful gradually. Factories are being built, new career opportunities are being created and schools are being constructed, Mubarak said.
Responding to a question on the Central Audits Agency (CAA) report on shortcomings in government performance, the president said he was pleased that reports are openly addressing deficiencies in the government performance.
People responsible for such shortcomings will not go unpunished, he said. Any government in the world faces the lack of equilibrium between income and expenditure, said the president, citing the unparalleled population and income increase.
The government has also other commitments to settling its domestic and international debts, he noted
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