Mubarak: We Need Mideast Peace
Apr. 24, 1999
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday called on Arabs and Israelis to set aside their differences and work toward realizing peace.
In a televised speech marking Israel's 1982 return of Sinai to Egypt, Mubarak urged a ``historic reconciliation between the Arabs and the Israelis that puts an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict and makes equal the rights of all the sons of the prophet Abraham.''
Jerusalem, he said, should be ``a place for brotherhood and love that overcomes religious and ethnic extremism.''
Talks between the Palestinians and Israel have faltered repeatedly since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in May 1996. The two sides have split on numerous issues, including security for Israel and Palestinian statehood.
Talks between Syria, Lebanon and Israel broke off in March 1996 following suicide bombings in Israel that were blamed on Palestinian extremists.
``No matter what the obstacles facing the road to peace are, what is confirmed is that a just peace is the right choice _ and the only choice _ favored by all the people of the region, including the Israeli people,'' Mubarak said.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel. The 1979 Camp David accords paved the way for the return of Sinai to Egypt, which was captured by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.