Mubarak, Sharon agree to meet; Syria, Lebanon say Israelis do not want peace
Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak is expected to soon hold a meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Mubarak called Sharon on Wednesday morning and congratulated him on his victory in Tuesday's elections.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, the two spoke about the need to continue the peace process in the region, and agreed to meet after Sharon forms his new coalition.
Mubarak said Tuesday that he would seek to increase the pace of talks between Cairo and Jerusalem once Sharon has finished assembling his new coalition.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's prime minister and Syrian media said Sharon's continuation as prime minister of Israel makes it clear Israeli voters do not want peace in the Middle East and prefer only the candidate who is most hostile to Arabs.
Hariri said in a speech to the Lebanese parliament that "the idea of peace has been folded in Israel and the competition between candidates is [based] on who is more hostile to the Palestinian brothers and Arabs in general."
The English-language Syria Times said Sharon has conducted his electoral campaign "with the belief that as much Palestinian blood he can shed, the more votes he can win."
Sharon, it said, has unleashed Israeli forces against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip merely to demonstrate that the Likud party is unyielding in its defense of Israel's security.
The newspaper wrote that "very soon the Israelis would discover that putting the Likud in power in not the cure for their security woes."
Another Syrian newspaper, Tishreen, said Israelis "are voting for extremism." But it had little regard for other Israeli parties, saying all of them were "playing the same tune and making the quelling of the Palestinian people's will a top priority for them." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)