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Bush, Mubarak renew support for Palestinian-Israeli peace talks


Cairo : Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and visiting US President George W. Bush have agreed to work together to help the Palestinians and the Israelis reach a peace deal ahead of the end of Bush’s tenure.

During the talks Wednesday, held in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm Al-Sheikh, Bush briefed Mubarak on the results of his recent talks with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Israel and in the Palestinian territories.

The leaders of both sides are committed to the two-state solution, Bush told reporters following his talks with Mubarak.

He voiced optimism over the possibility to reach a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal, affirming that he would visit the Middle East again in the coming months to push forward the peace process.

Bush hailed the US-Egyptian ties as the cornerstone of the US policy for the Middle East. The ties are based on mutual respect and joint commitment to peace, security and stability, he said.

The talks between Bush and Mubarak also dealt with the situation in Iraq, Lebanon and Sudan’s Darfur.

Bush appreciated Mubarak’s views on the regional situation and thanked Egypt for its effort to combat terrorism as well as its peace-keeping mission in Darfur.

He hailed the achievements of civil society organisations, women empowerment endeavours and economic openness in Egypt.

In similar statements to the press, Mubarak reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to security and stability in the Middle East especially the Arab Gulf region.

He cited the Palestinian question “the core of the Middle East conflict.”

The Egyptian-US ties are steadily developing in the course of time, Mubarak pointed out, noting that the ties serve the common interests of both nations.

Bush arrived in Egypt earlier Wednesday from Saudi Arabia for the last stop in his Middle East tour that has taken him to Israel, Palestine, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE.