Egyptian Minister Welcomes European Participation in Mfo

Egyptian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Boutros Ghali welcomed today “West European participation” in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) which will patrol Sinai after Israel’s withdrawal next April.

Ghali, who met earlier with President Francois Mitterrand, said such a participation “is symbolic” of European support for the current peace process. France, Britain, Italy and Holland have said they will provide troops and logistical support for the 2,500 man force.

The Egyptian Minister, who attended a 30-nation Franco-African summit conference here brought Mitterrand a personal message from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Ghali conferred with Mitterrand for 30 minutes. He also met with Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson. It is believed he renewed the late President Anwar Sadat’s invitation for Mitterrand to pay a state visit to Egypt next year.

NO CHANGE WITHOUT ISRAEL’S AGREEMENT

Ghali told reporters in reply to questions about the Saudi Arabia eight-point peace plan presented last summer by Crown Prince Fahd, “We never pretended to have a monopoly for a peaceful solution. We have no objections to other initiatives. But,” he stressed “there can be no alternative (to the Camp David process) without Israel’s agreement.”

Ghali said he did not discuss the Fahd peace plan, which Israel has flatly rejected, with Mitterrand. The French President said last month that France “sees certain positive items” in the Saudi proposal. Other West European countries, such as Britain and Italy, have expressed support for the Saudi plan while continuing to back the Camp David agreements.

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