Egypt: Israel Stirs Suspicion ahead of Summit

Published July 7th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said Thursday that Israel had stirred suspicion ahead of the summit at the US presidential retreat in Maryland by imposing the negotiating limits. 

Moussa’s remarks came after meeting with Palestinian minister of international cooperation, Nabil Shaath. 

For his part, Shaath said “the Palestinians will push for the return of all land occupied in 1967 at next week's summit at Camp David, despite the limits Israel has imposed on the talks.”  

Moussa told reporters that Shaath was passing on a detailed verbal message on the Palestinian position and concerns about Israel's attitude from his president Yasser Arafat to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. 

Arafat was due in Cairo in two days to discuss the matter further, he added. 

"We will go to the summit and fight for our rights relying on the Central Palestinian Council resolutions and (UN Security Council) resolutions 242 and 194," concerning land lost in the 1967 war, Shaath said. 

He stressed the importance of ending Israel's occupation over all Palestinian lands in the same way as Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan have obtained an Israeli withdrawal from their land, and as Syria still demands. 

Shaath brushed aside Israeli protests over Palestinian plans to declare an independent state in September whether there is or is not a deal with the Jewish state. 

Independence can only be achieved by one side, the Palestinian official said. 

"If it comes according to the occupying authority's conditions, it will not be independence," Shaath said, insisting it is a separate issue from what is going to be discussed in the summit. 

Shaath said US President Bill Clinton convened the summit, which comes without preparations, because Barak stopped the negotiations and did not give back lands that he was supposed to do under previous agreements. 

Shaath said that the limits set by Barak cover issues which are the reason and topic of the negotiations. 

Among five topics he ruled out for discussion, Barak said earlier he would not accept a withdrawal from all of the territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, including east Jerusalem, which resolution 242 demands. 

Moussa, meanwhile, complained that Barak's tough line on the talks "created an atmosphere of suspicion" but added the real test will be in the summit itself. 

Asked if the US administration gave any guarantee for the summit's success, Moussa replied: "Let's give the summit a chance and see."  

The summit will be held on July 11th at the US presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, where Egypt and Israel signed their first peace accords in 1978 – CAIRO (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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