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Mubarak, Peres Agree to Seek Mideast Peace

September 12, 1986|Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres today agreed to dedicate 1987 to a search for a permanent Mideast peace and to set up a committee to prepare for an international conference on it. Egypt announced that it was returning its ambassador to Israel.

The agreement on the international conference appeared to be the major achievement from the first summit between the two countries in five years. However, it was not referred to in the official statement issued at the end of the two-day meeting.

Peres flew back to Tel Aviv, where he said he expected some opposition within his coalition government over the agreement.

Mubarak told reporters: "We have both of us agreed on an international conference and . . . a preparatory committee. Still, there are some issues to discuss. . . . You can't imagine such a problem to be solved in 24 hours, but we made good progress."

No Details Given

Neither man mentioned details, but Peres said the committee would discuss procedure and composition for a conference.

Egypt and Jordan have favored an international conference to provide a framework for direct negotiations between Israel and the Arabs.

The United States, and Israel until now, had voiced opposition to an international conference because it would include the Soviet Union.

Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel-Meguid read a statement announcing that Egypt was appointing Mohammed Bassiouny its ambassador to Israel.

Bassiouny has been charge d'affaires in the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv since Mubarak recalled his ambassador in 1982 to protest Israel's invasion of Lebanon.

Today's one-hour private meeting between Mubarak and Peres was delayed as the two delegations spent the time working to bridge the gap between their positions on the Palestinian issue.

'Resolution,' 'Solution'

But the final statement referred only to the need for "resolution of the Palestinian question in all its aspects" and "solution of the Palestinian problem in all its aspects."

A senior Israeli official said: "Egypt wanted to say (in today's communique that) a solution for the Palestinian problem should be reached through self-determination, within the context of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation. Israel responded that that is PLO language and we are not willing to accept."

Another senior Israeli delegation member, minister without portfolio Ezer Weizman, said: "Mubarak expected more (in the communique) and we could not give him what he wanted. . . . We must remember that Peres' problem is not only with Mubarak, but he also has the Likud to deal with."

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