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French Leader Stresses Limits of War on Terror - 2001-11-12

French President Jacques Chirac and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak discussed the war on terror, the situation in the Middle East and the world economy during a meeting in Cairo Monday.

President Chirac said he and Mr. Mubarak are in agreement on several issues. At a joint news conference, Mr. Chirac said the U.S.-led military action in the campaign against terrorism must be limited to Afghanistan, and that the United Nations should have a role in Afghanistan's political future.

Mr. Chirac also cautioned against making any connection between Islam and terrorism.

The French president says there is not and there should not be any link made between terrorism and Islam, and that Mr. Mubarak has expressed this view ever since the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Mr. Chirac says he has spoken with President Bush regarding what he called a deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

Mr. Chirac says there should be new peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians with the participation of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, Egypt, Jordan and Russia. Mr. Chirac said the United States is in the best position to persuade Israel to return to the negotiating table.

President Chirac is on a three-country tour of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

He says he is consulting with the leaders of those countries on terrorism and how best to confront it. He says he also wants to discuss the French effort to mobilize an international effort to find a political solution for Afghanistan.