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Egypt, Jordan Reject 'Provisional' Palestinian State - 2002-06-19

Egypt and Jordan say they would reject a Middle East peace plan that calls for the creation of a "provisional" Palestinian state. President Bush's expected Middle East peace proposal is widely believed to include such a proposal.

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan made their comments about a provisional Palestinian state as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak traveled to Jordan for talks with King Abdullah about the latest peace efforts.

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel.

At a news conference in Amman, Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher said that any Palestinian state must have, in his words, "full sovereignty over Palestinian territory."

Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said "only Israeli occupation of Arab land must be provisional." He said any proposal to end Israeli occupation and establish a Palestinian state must set a specific timetable, "rather than speak of interim solutions."

In a statement released in Jordan following President Mubarak's two-hour meeting with King Abdullah, the two men expressed hope that the initiative President Bush will unveil will be balanced. The statement said the plan must be, in its words, "in harmony with international resolutions on the Palestinian cause." It also said any peace initiative must lead to the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

President Mubarak later flew to Syria for talks in Damascus with President Bashar al-Assad, also about the conflict in the Middle East.

Mr. Mubarak is expected to return to Cairo late Wednesday.