Following Gaza raid: Mubarak lashes out at Sharon
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of sabotaging the Middle East peace process by launching a deadly military raid in Gaza City that killed 15 Palestinians. Monday's raid is proof positive that Israel "does not want a resolution, does not want peace," Mubarak told a joint press conference in Paris after talks with French President Jacques Chirac.
The Egyptian leader, met Chirac before heading for Spain, lashed out at Sharon, accusing him of wanting to "torpedo all initiatives" to calm the violence in the Middle East. "Palestinian and Hamas leaders were making efforts to find a way to end the violence, followed by reforms" within the Palestinian Authority, Mubarak aired.
"There is something incomprehensible in all this: if they want to punish someone from Hamas, does that justify destroying an entire building and all its residents?" Mubarak asked. "It's a terrible act that can only bring sadness," he added, warning: "There is danger not only for the Palestinian people, but also for the Israeli people, who are now at the mercy of a wave of new attacks" aimed at them.
Chirac reiterated France's condemnation of the deadly raid, noting that he and Mubarak shared "identical views on most international issues, notably on those related to the Middle East."
The two leaders also rejected a call by US President George W. Bush to sideline Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in future peace talks, saying his participation was vital to any peace agreement. "I agree with president Mubarak," Chirac said when asked if Arafat should be invited to the negotiating table. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)