Blair in Cairo, Iraq, trade, terrorism on agenda
Egypt-UK, Business, 4/17/1998
British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Cairo today, at the beginning of a visit to the region including Saudi Arabia, Gaza and Israel.
Formal Egyptian sources confirmed that Blair's talks with Egypt's President Mubarak today will tackle six main issues, including finding a settlement for the Lockerbie crisis, the Middle East peace process and methods of activating the European role alongside the US role, and halting the deterioration in the peace process.
The sources confirmed that the talks will also tackle the current situation in Iraq and the Iraqi people's situation. It is expected that Blair will present the call from his government for a June meeting in London addressing humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people.
In Cairo Blair will work on restoring Egyptian confidence in British policy, which was exposed to criticism because of the British government's support for US threats to launch military strikes against Iraq during the crisis over inspecting the presidential sites. The talks will also tackle cooperation in combating terrorism, and the obstacles facing the implementation of security and political items at the meeting in Barcelona for European and Mediterranean cooperation.
The talks will discuss the obstacles facing the final context of the Egyptian - European participation agreement in trade and methods of overcoming it within the British leadership of the European Union.
Meanwhile Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak received a report about the obstacles confronting the ratification of the participation's agreement between Egypt and the European Union, which require political intervention at a high level, after the EU's threat during previous negotiations to impose sanctions on Egyptian exports, and imposing fees varying between 20 to 31% on textile exports, which threaten Egyptian textile interests.
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