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Cheney Tackles Mideast, Terrorism

March 13, 2002

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SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) _ The burden is on both Israel and the Palestinians to end spiraling violence in their region, Vice President Dick Cheney declared Wednesday. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak promised to also apply pressure.

Mubarak also told a joint news conference with Cheney that he believes Iraq’s Saddam Hussein is close to agreeing to allow the return of U.N. weapons inspectors, although he gave no details.

He cautioned against U.S. plans to us military force against Iraq, saying all diplomatic channels should be exhausted first.

The two met as the cycle of violence increased, with the biggest Israel offensive in the West Bank and Gaza regions since the 1967 war.

Both Mubarak and Cheney condemned the rise in violence.

``The burden is on both parties to bring an end to the violence,″ Cheney said, further emphasizing a recent shift in U.S. policy away from mostly blaming the violence on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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