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U.S. Says Mubarak is Fully Committed to Treaty with Israel

January 26, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Reagan Administration stressed today that while it “regrets” the “strain” in relations between Israel and Egypt, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who will meet with President Reagan here Thursday, is fully committed to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

“The hallmark of President Mubarak’s leadership has been the continuity of Egyptian policy” as established by his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, a senior Administration official said in briefing reporters on Mubarak’s upcoming visit. “Egypt has maintained its commitment to the Camp David process. The peace treaty with Israel remains firms,” he said.

Israel’s President, Yitzhak Navon, in his speech to the National Press Club here earlier this month, expressed concern that Egypt has “frozen” relations with Israel. The Administration official said today that the U.S. is in “favor of unfreezing these relations as soon as this can be achieved.” But, he said, the Israeli-Egyptian relationship will be discussed in the context of the general Middle East peace process.


Mubarak, who arrives here, late tomorrow afternoon for a working visit, will have a meeting followed by lunch with President Reagan at the White House Thursday, The official said the main points of discussion will be Reagan’s peace initiative, the situation in Lebanon and regional security.

He said there will also be a chance for the two Presidents to renew their personal relationship and to “review and reiterate the special relationship between Egypt and the U.S.” The official said the fact that Mubarak will be meeting with Reagan less than a year after his first visit to Washington last February 3, “underlines the importance we accord to Egyptian-U.S. relations.”

Also on the agenda will be bilateral issues, the official said. Mubarak has scheduled meetings with Secretary of State George Shultz, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, the Administration’s top economic officials and leading members of the Senate and the House.

The Administration official denied that the situation in Lebanon has been the major cause of strained relations between Israel and Egypt. “We believe the basic Egyptian-Israeli treaty has stood the test of Lebanon,” he said. But he added, “success in Lebanon will have a positive impact” on Israeli-Egyptian relations.

The situation in Lebanon has also caused strains in Egyptian-U.S. relations, the official said. But he noted that this has been eased by President Reagan’s Middle East peace initiative He said Mubarak has been an “active supporter of the President’s initiative, has encouraged other Arabs to join it and has urged the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize Israel.

The official said that despite the situation in Lebanon, the peace process was going on with talks being held all the time. He added however that “continued impasse (in Lebanon) will have an increasingly negative impact” on the peace process.

The official said that although the U.S. has been concentrating in recent months on bringing Jordan into the peace process, Egypt still remains a “vital partner for peace in the Middle East.”


He said the only change in U.S. policy is the “recognition that the (peace) table must be broadened.” He explained this meant that in addition to Israel and Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians should be included.

In that context, the official indicated that Egypt has refused to resume the autonomy negotiations until other Arabs are at the table. How ever, in interviews with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and others, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Kamal Hassan Ali, has said Egypt refused to resume the autonomy talks until Israel pulls its troops out of Lebanon or establishes a timetable for such a move.

On the question of arms for Egypt, the Administration official said that most of the U.S. “hardware” has already gone to Egypt in an effort to modernize the Egyptian army which needs to replace its “outdated” Soviet equipment. He said Egypt has received 300 tanks, 20 F-16 jets, 800 armored personnel carriers and four I-Hawk anti-aircraft missile batteries. Egypt is also seeking Hawk reconnaissance planes, the official said.

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