Mubarak, Assad Call for Arab Summit to Deal with Israeli-Palestinian Clashes
Presidents Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Bashar al-Assad of Syria called Monday for an urgent Arab summit to deal with the deadly Israeli-Palestinian clashes.
"From this forum, I call for an Arab summit to meet as quickly as possible," Mubarak said at a joint press conference in Cairo with Assad.
Prior to the press conference, the two had met on a one-to-one basis for more than four hours at Mubarak’s palace in northern Cairo. They discussed the peace process and the upsurge of violence that has been witnessed over the past few days. They also discussed Iraq and sanctions, the summit and the Syrian-Israeli peace track.
During the press conference, Mubarak accused the Israelis of provoking the violent clashes that began in Jerusalem four days ago. He said the Israeli military fired at the Palestinians during Friday prayers, something that has raised a public outcry all over the world.
The president added that the violence was expected, and that he had warned since the Camp David summit in July that the issue of east Jerusalem “which is an occupied land since 1967” is “sensitive, complex and dangerous.”
The Syrian president, who arrived Monday on his first foreign trip since succeeding his late father in July, said that the what has happened over the past four days in Palestine cannot be ignored, and that it was not possible to separate what is going on there, and what could possibly happen in the Golan Heights.
Regarding the Syrian-Israeli peace track, Assad said that there was a true search for peace, but he called on the US as a sponsor of the peace process to be “fair and honest.”
The Syrian president reiterated his country’s position on Iraq, calling for lifting the decade-old sanctions imposed on the Arab country. He warned that the continuation of the embargo will eventually lead “to the destruction of Iraq.”
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)