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Mubarak Assures Peres Egypt Will Thoroughly Examine Sinai Tragedy

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak has written to Premier Shimon Peres to assure him of Egypt’s determination to thoroughly examine the tragic event in the Sinai on October4. The message referred to the shooting by an Egyptian soldier or policeman of seven Israeli campers at Ras Burka, 40 kilometers south of Eilat. Egypt subsequently said the assailant had run amok.

In an oral message from Mubarak delivered by the Egyptian Charge D’Affaires, Mohammed Bassiouni, Saturday night, Egypt’s leader assured Peres, moreover, that he would personally follow the course of the investigation.

Mubarak instructed the envoy to tell Peres that Egypt’s concern over the affair was no less grave than Israel’s. He would acquaint Peres with the findings of the investigation, which was proceeding with urgency, Mubarak said.

Peres read out the message at yesterday’s weekly Cabinet meeting and it was later released to the press. The Premier’s office clearly hopes the Egyptian President’s statements — so different from his initial dismissal of the affair as a small accident — would help ease the strains that have developed in relations between the two countries as a result of the killings.

Mubarak’s message ended with the suggestion that all declarations tending to complicate the issue ought henceforth to be avoided.

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