Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday said that his country's top priority is to end the Israeli siege over the Gaza Strip.
Speaking to ruling party leaders and members, Mubarak said that the Gaza Strip and West Bank should be established as an independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem.
He also rejected Israel's effort to "shirk responsibility towards the Gaza Strip" toward Egypt. "We are making efforts to lift the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip," he said. Mubarak continued by denouncing attempts to "perpetuate the internal Palestinian division" and said that Palestinians are the only ones paying the price for the divisions that Israel has used to delay the peace process.
Mubarak's statements come after an Israeli decision earlier this week to ease its blockade on Gaza, allowing non-military materials to enter the Gaza Strip. He added that Egypt will significantly expand the quantity of goods crossing from Egypt into Gaza.