Mubarak: US Must Put Mideast Initiative into Action
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Thursday he backs the US initiative to revive the moribund Arab-Israeli peace process but insists it must be followed up by action.
"We welcome the speech of (US Secretary of State Colin) Powell, but I stress what's important is its application," Mubarak said in his first public reaction since Monday's speech in Kentucky.
"It is true that we support the US and European declarations about the Palestinian problem, but it is also true that it is necessary to begin the long journey to a settlement and start applying these declarations," he said.
Mubarak, whose remarks were carried by the state-run MENA news agency, was speaking to editors of Egyptian government newspaper while returning from Saudi Arabia, according to AFP.
Outlining the vision of President George W. Bush's administration, Powell urged the Palestinians to stop violence and Israel to stop settling on and occupying Palestinian land.
He called for a Palestinian state to live side by side with a secure Israel, and has decided to dispatch two senior representatives to the Middle East next week.
In Riyadh, Mubarak met with Saudi King Fahd late Wednesday for talks on the future of the Middle East peace process and the war in Afghanistan, the official SPA news agency reported.
The two leaders discussed "the perspectives for bilateral cooperation, the situation in the region and on the international scene, notably the Palestinian problem," SPA said.
During their discussions, they underlined the "need to establish peace and security in the region through an equitable resolution in Arab territories occupied" by Israel, the agency added.
Mubarak performed umrah, or minor pilgrimage, while in the kingdom, the Egyptian TV said – Albawaba.com
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