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Mubarak Arrives in Paris - 2001-09-23

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrives in Paris Sunday, as part of a European tour aimed at forging a more united approach against terrorism. The visit also underscores Egypt's concern that there not be hasty reprisals for last week's terrorist attacks in the United States, amid U.S. demands that Afghanistan's Taleban leaders turn over terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden.

Since the terrorist strikes in New York and Washington, President Mubarak has worked to consolidate a unified Arab position on terrorism, and has called for an international conference on the subject to be held under U.N. auspices.

In an interview published Saturday in France's Le Figaro newspaper, President Mubarak cautioned the Bush administration against what he called "indiscriminate" attacks on Afghanistan or other so-called rogue nations, which might kill innocent citizens.

Cherif El Shoubashy, Paris bureau chief for Egypt's leading Al Ahram newspaper, says Mr. Mubarak will likely stress the need for a global campaign against terrorism during his visits this week to Paris, Berlin and Rome.

"What Mr. Mubarak has in mind is [after] what happened, the American reaction should not be the Western world, which means Europe and the United States and Canada, against the Arab-Islamic world," he said. "This would be the worst scenario in Mubarak's [mind] - and I think for all, Egypt and the Arabs. So what he wants is to globalize [it]."

On Monday, Mr. Mubarak meets with French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. He travels to Germany Tuesday and then to Italy. He is also expected to discuss the Middle East situation during his talks with European leaders.

Mr. Mubarak is also expected to renew his call for tougher European measures against suspected Islamist extremists. Cairo has waged a decades-long war against terrorism, and claims some militants now live in Europe.