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Mubarak Criticizes Lack of International Involvement in Mideast Conflict - 2002-04-30

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has criticized the international community, saying it has failed to provide an atmosphere for political negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Egyptian president spoke on national television to mark Egypt's Labor Day. Mr. Mubarak said the Arab world was assured that the international community would turn its attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, once the U.S. led anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan had achieved its objectives.

Instead, the Egyptian president said the international powers focused on the security aspects in the Middle East and are ignoring what he calls "the pivotal role of political negotiations."

Mr. Mubarak said Israel's incursions in the West Bank and Gaza are aimed at terrorizing the Palestinian people and suppressing their resistance to occupation. Israel has said its military offensive against Palestinians is in response to a series of suicide bombings.

Mr. Mubarak said he fears the international war on terrorism could lose its credibility among Arabs and Muslims because the international community has not fulfilled its assurances to deliver a Middle East peace.

The Egyptian president noted U.S. success in getting Israel to lift its siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Mr. Mubarak said this clearly shows the importance of the American role and "proves strong intervention can bring about a real political breakthrough."