Mubarak Praises Rabin's Legacy
SARAH EL DEEB
Nov. 03, 2002
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CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Speaking by video link to 100,000 people in Tel Aviv, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak recalled Yitzhak Rabin as a ``great leader'' Saturday and said Middle East peace was still possible.
The Tel Aviv rally was held to mark the seventh anniversary of the assassination of Rabin, the prime minister who signed landmark peace accords with Yasser Arafat in 1993.
``Your meeting today in this place specially, despite the pains and difficult circumstances that resulted from recent events, sends a strong message to the world that the passing of Rabin does not mean the end of peace,'' said Mubarak. In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
It was the first time that Mubarak took part in the annual rally held to mark the day of Rabin's slaying at the hands of a young Jewish extremist. Mubarak, who took office in Egypt 21 years ago, visited Israel once to attend Rabin's funeral in 1995.
The Egyptian leader drew a parallel between Rabin and his own predecessor Anwar Sadat, saying both men lost their lives to ``forces of deception.''
Sadat, who signed the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, was assassinated in 1981 by Muslim extremists opposed to his pro-Western policies and peace with Israel.
``We are sure that peace will triumph in the end because it is the aim of all people in the region, and it's the shortest way to achieve security for all,'' Mubarak said.
He praised Rabin as a ``great leader'' who understood ``there is a limit to the use of power, which should not be crossed to kill civilians, put them under siege, and starve them, destroy their houses.''
Mubarak appealed to moderates and ``friends of Rabin'' in Israel to end the current Israeli-Palestinian fighting, saying that reviving the faltering Mideast peace process was still possible.