US Envoy Meets Mubarak for Talks on Mideast Peace, Israeli Troop Withdrawal
Assistant U.S Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Edward Walker said Friday that there was still hope for the Syrian-Israeli part of the peace process although their negotiations were frozen in January.
"I would not exactly call it deadlock, because we do not consider the door closed at all," Walker told reporters after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Friday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
"It's true, we hit some obstacles in Geneva and some misunderstanding. We hope we can overcome these and get this track moving again," he added.
A March 26 meeting of US President Bill Clinton and Syrian President Hafez Assad in Geneva failed to restart the Syrian-Israeli talks.
Walker said he met Mubarak at the request of Clinton and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright "to review the peace process and the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon," which the Jewish state says will take place by July 7.
"I came to seek the president's advice to realize real progress on the Palestinian track and so we can see a peaceful Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon and hopefully regenerate the Syrian track" of the peace process.
"I was not proposing things," he added.
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a final accord are scheduled to resume Sunday in the southern Israeli city of Eilat.
Walker and his delegation arrived earlier in the day in Egypt, which they are visiting as part of a tour of the Middle East that includes visits to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates - (AFP)
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