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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2864

Mubarak, Obama express optimism on ME peace?

By Wajid Ali Syed in Washington

Washington, 20 August, ( US President Barack Obama and Eygptian President Hosni Mubarak have expressed optimism about the possibility of moving toward Middle East peace. Their comments came after Mubarak's first visit to the White House in more than five years.

With reports that Israel has stopped granting permissions for new West Bank settlements, both leaders spoke of encouraging signs in mid-east peace efforts.?

President Obama said that there's an opportunity to make real progress if Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states make concessions. He called on Arab countries to reach out to Israel by warming relations.?

President Mubarak said Arab states are willing to help but the Israelis and Palestinians must resume talks first.?

President Obama wants Israel to freeze all settlement construction in Arab East Jerusalem and on the West Bank, a commitment Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not made.? Although Obama praised Egypt's peace efforts, there were signs the two men disagreed on other issues.?

In the past, mass arrests of political opponents and other human rights abuses have strained US-Egyptian relations.? Egyptian rights activists say they want Egypt's state of emergency lifted before parliamentary elections next year and presidential elections in 2011?.

- Asian Tribune -

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