Breakup of Israel’s Unity Coalition Would Set Back Peace, Says Mubarak

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, here for talks with President Francois Mitterrand, said in a newspaper interview that he would hate to see the collapse of Israel’s national unity government in Israel.

Mubarak, whose 10-point proposal to hold peace talks in Cairo between Palestinians and Israelis has deeply divided the Israeli government, told Le Figaro that an Israeli government crisis would “only delay the peace process.”

The Egyptian president said he does not want become involved in Israel’s internal political affairs.

However, he warned that a government crisis in Israel “would demand new elections, a new government, the definition of a new policy and would represent a delay” in the peace process of “at least an additional year.”

Mubarak is here en route to the United States, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. While in New York, he is scheduled to meet with Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Moshe Arens. He also will meet with President Bush in Washington.

The Egyptian leader said he does not want or expect American pressure on Israel to be more forthcoming. “It is a word which irritates,” he said.

“No, what is needed is for the Americans to explain the situation to their Israeli friends and persuade them.”

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