Mubarak, Ben Eliezer Conclude Talks; Israel Forwards Message To Syrian President Via Egypt
Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said Wednesday that he had sent a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, through Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, that "Israel was ready to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions." He said Israel advises Syria to stop aiding the Lebanese Resistance party Hizbullah since it could lead to the destruction of Lebanon.
The Minister, who made these comments at a press briefing after meeting for over two hours with Mubarak at Sharm al Sheikh added that Israel currently had no partner on the Palestinian side for peace.
“Israel is committed to the peace process with the Palestinians, however, it appears that today we have no real partner of negotiation.” “I want to assure all of you that the Palestinian people is not my enemy. I am not fighting the Palestinian people. We are fighting the terror”.
Ben-Eliezer also remarked that he believed that there was no military solution to the conflict and that it could only be reached at the negotiating table.
The Israeli Defense Minister and the Egyptian President discussed necessary measures to end the continuous violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
Ben-Eliezer, who was making his first visit to Egypt in his current position, told his Egyptian hosts that a “breakthrough” has to be found to make possible for Israel and the Palestinians to begin implementation of the U.S.-brokered Tenet and Mitchell truce recommendations.
According to Haaretz, Ben-Eliezer believes that an end to violence on the part of the Palestinian Authority is the necessary pre-condition for a breakthrough, and that Egypt must aid in efforts to exert pressure on Arafat to crack down on terrorism.
Israel is prepared to negotiate with Syria without preconditions, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak this afternoon in Sharm e-Sheikh.
Mubarak told Ben-Eliezer he would help to get negotiations between Israel and the Syrians and Palestinians back on track, Israel Radio reported.
Earlier, it was reported that Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat and Mubarak had a phone call late Tuesday. The two leaders exchanged views regarding to the situation in the occupied territories and discussed the content of Mubarak's recent contacts with US President George W. Bush.
Arafat updated Mubarak on the latest developments in the Palestinian territories, in light of Israel's escalating aggressions.
The Palestinian besieged leader also thanked Mubarak for his efforts to rescue the peace process. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)