Mubarak calls for better ties with Iran and Sudan
BBC Worldwide Monitoring
Source: MENA news agency, Cairo,
4 June 99
Cairo, 4th June: President Husni Mubarak has emphasized that Israeli
Prime Minister-elect Ehud Baraq knows the views of Yitzhaq Rabin on the
peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks. If Baraq follows the course
that Rabin pursued and if he believes in the need for the return of the
Golan Heights to Syria, it will be possible to reach a peace agreement,
Mubarak said. And if the Israeli forces withdraw from Lebanon, the whole
problem will be settled, he added.
In an interview with `Al-Ahram' Chief Editor Ibrahim Nafi published
Friday [4th June], President Mubarak said that the US and European stands
support the peace process, but what counts is what the Israeli government
will do. Even during Netanyahu's term in office the Americans and Europeans
supported the peace process but there were many obstacles. I hope both
the Americans and Europeans will continue their backing and I believe that
the United States and Europe will continue their backing of the peace process.
On Egyptian- Iranian ties, President Mubarak said: "As far as we
are concerned, there are no problems in Egyptian- Iranian ties, but there
are certain outstanding issues that are known to the Iranians. I wish to
have very good ties with Iran , but at the proper time, for I have my own
calculations in this respect."
On Egyptian-Sudanese relations, President Mubarak said: "Sudan
is supposed to be a natural extension of Egypt. I think ties with Sudan
are beginning to improve and I hope we will go all the way. The Sudanese
government handed over some Egyptian property there and things are now
going on their normal course. There are, however, still some points under
discussion and I hope we will settle them as quickly as possible."
Asked if there is a chance for a meeting between him and Sudanese President
Umar al-Bashir shortly, President Mubarak said: "I do not rule out
such a meeting but the date cannot be set now."
Asked about the Arab five-way summit, President Mubarak said: "A
five-way meeting of these countries must convene, not necessarily on the
summit level, to discuss negotiations with Israel on such issues as water,
Jerusalem, refugees and borders, in addition to numerous issues that concern
these five countries."
Asked when such a meeting could be held, President Mubarak said: "No-one
can determine the date now and a meeting might convene on the foreign ministers
level or lower, according to what these countries might agree, especially
if such a meeting at present is feasible. Representatives of the five countries
must eventually sit down and coordinate their effort." He added: "Such
a meeting might lead to some benefit, but I cannot put pressure for a meeting
because there are differences between the Palestinians and Syria."
In reply to a question, President Mubarak said: I heard about this from
the United States. They proposed a quadripartite or a five way meeting.
If a quadripartite meeting is held, it will be attended by Palestinians,
Jordanians, Americans and Israelis. If a five-way meeting is held, Egypt
will be represented, and if it is held, I will attend it if this would
lead to some results.