Mubarak: Egypt to Recognize Palestinian State
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak said on Sunday that Egypt would recognize a future Palestinian state, whether it emerged by agreement or was declared unilaterally, reported Reuters.
"If a Palestinian state is announced we will recognize it. Under any circumstances we will recognize it," Mubarak told reporters at a news conference with outgoing Israeli President Ezer Weizman, who was on a brief farewell trip to Cairo, said the agency.
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has said he will proclaim a state in September if negotiations with Israel fail.
Israel and the Palestinians are aiming to forge a final status peace deal by September that would resolve bedrock issues lying at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"There are problems over Jerusalem, refugees and land and they are negotiating now and I hope they reach a specific conclusion for the sake of the stability of the peace process," Mubarak said of the US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian talks.
Meanwhile, Mubarak praised Syria's probable new president, Bashar Assad, as a man prepared to talk peace, said AFP.
"He is ready to resume the negotiations (with Israel) for the sake of peace," Mubarak said.
"Bashar Assad will be a very good president and the rumors about the fragility of the regime are wrong."
Mubarak also paid tribute to Weizman, who will resign from his largely ceremonial post as president on July 10th, three years before the end of his term, because of possible impeachment over a gift-taking scandal in Israel, said AFP.
"I salute him and appreciate the efforts he has made and still makes as president of the state of Israel to reach a comprehensive peace," Mubarak said - (Several Sources)
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