Egypt and Jordan consider east Jerusalem as a part of the Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and, as such, subject to a UN resolution calling on Israel to return those lands, a source at Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
"The issue of Jerusalem is highly critical, and we always see east Jerusalem as subject to Resolution No. 242 because the territory) was occupied in 1967", Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel-Ilah Khatib was quoted as saying following a three-hour meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa.
According to the ministry source, Moussa said the Arab standpoint on the issue of east Jerusalem is final and is one that insists, "on liberating this land".
Moussa referred to the "holiness" of the city, which he said justified the Arabs and Muslim's aspiration for complete control over this part of Jerusalem.
Asked whether negotiators at the Camp David peace summit should offer "mutual concessions", Moussa described concessions as a "serious" word.
He said that, "While details of such concessions are still unclear, they should not violate rules of reaching an agreement, especially Resolution no. 242".
Moussa denied that Israel had asked Egypt to put any pressure on the Palestinian side in a telephone call Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak received from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Moussa and Khatib, who were speaking to reporters after their meeting, praised efforts by US President Bill Clinton in pushing the talks at Camp David, and expressed hope that the summit could conclude an final agreement on a fair peace.
"In spite of the sensitivity of the remaining points for negotiations, an advance has been recorded on other points," Khatib said.
On the Palestinian refugees issue, Khatib said any agreement should consider the nearly 1.5 million refugees living in Jordan, as well as Jordan's rights as a country that has been hosting refugees for 50 years.
Moussa pointed said the refugees issue is no less critical than other issues in the talks.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II, whose countries made peace with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively, spoke by telephone on Friday to discuss the Camp David summit.
The two Arab leaders agreed that progress must lead to a settlement that guarantees the Palestinians' "legitimate rights" such as the right to establish a state, Egypt's MENA news agency said.
Khatib said the two leaders are due to meet within the coming few days - ALEXANDRIA (AFP)
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