WASHINGTON (Oct. 2)
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, during nearly two hours of meetings with President Reagan in the White House last Friday, failed to provide any assurances that Egypt will send its Ambassador back to Israel any time soon, according to a senior Administration official.
At the same time, the official, who briefed reporters on Mubarak’s third meeting with Reagan since the Egyptian assumed the Presidency, said Mubarak “emphasized” that the Camp David accords and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty are a “pillar” of Egyptian policy.
The official said the U.S. has a “special responsibility” toward Egyptian-Israeli relations because of the U.S. role in the Camp David accords and stressed that the U.S. has frequently “brokered” steps between Israel and Egypt aimed at improving relations between the two countries.
SEEKS SOLUTION TO PALESTINIAN PROBLEM
Mubarak, in his talks with the President, while stressing along with Reagan the importance of Lebanon urged renewed effort by the U.S. to bring about a solution to the Palestinian problem, according to the Administration official. This was revealed in the departing statements made by the two Presidents in the East Room of the White House, in which both reiterated their support for the Reagan Mideast peace initiative of September, 1982.
Reagan said that he and Mubarak had discussed the “urgent need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace for the Mideast which would permit … all the states in the region to live in peace while safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian people.” Reagan “reiterated my commitment” to the September, 1982 peace initiative which he stressed is “firmly based on the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the Camp David accords.”
Mubarak, like Reagan, stressed the hope that the cease-fire in Lebanon would lead to national reconciliation for that country. He said a “breakthrough” in Lebanon requires “the complete withdrawal of Israeli and other foreign forces.” Reagan had only spoken about all foreign forces.
Bur Mubarak added, “We must not neglect the Palestinian problem.” He said for this reason he welcomed Reagan’s assurances that he remains committed to his peace initiative. “The time has come to reactivate this initiative with a view to securing the participation of Jordan and representatives of the Palestinian people in the negotiations, ” Mubarak declared.
“I am confident that through negotiations Palestinian legitimate rights will be fully recognized and peace between Israel and all of her Arab neighbors will emerge, assuring for each the right to live within secure and recognized borders.”
U.S. MAJOR FOCUS IS ON LEBANON
The Administration official stressed that the U.S. at this time has to concentrate its major effort on Lebanon. But he also pointed our that the U.S. has all along been making an effort on the Palestinian problem. He said that as long as one-and-a-half million Palestinians continue to live under Israeli occupation there is “little chance for stability and peace in the area.”
The official said that Reagan’s initiative was an effort to deal with the Palestinian part of the Camp David accords. But he conceded that the Administration has made no decision on how to get the moribund initiative going again.