Mubarak sees historic opportunity for peace in the Middle East
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said on Friday a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian is within reach. In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal the Egyptian leader said US President Barack Obama's reassertion of US leadership in the Middle East offers a rare opportunity to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians because a historic settlement was within reach.
Mubarak added Obama was willing to take a lead in achieving peace and the Arab world would reciprocate. "A historic settlement is within reach, one that would give the Palestinians their state and freedom from occupation while granting Israel recognition and security to live in peace," wrote Mubarak. "Egypt stands ready to seize that moment, and I am confident that the Arab world will do the same," he added.
"Israel's relentless settlement expansion, which has seriously eroded the prospects for a two-state solution, must cease, together with its closure of Gaza," said Mubarak. According to him, if Israel took "serious steps" toward peace with the Palestinians, the Arab world would do the same. "The priority should be to resolve the permanent borders of a sovereign and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, based on the 1967 lines, as this would unlock most of the other permanent status issues, including settlements, security, water and Jerusalem," wrote Mubarak.
The Egyptian president hailed Obama's speech in Cairo two weeks ago, calling it a turning point in American relations with the Muslim world, but also stressing it had to be followed up with "forward-looking" steps. "I look forward to working with the president to achieve that objective," said Mubarak.