• Short Summary

    Israel's indirect role in the Beirut massacre last September may lead to a new impetus in the Middle Eat peace-making process according to Egyptian Foreign Minister Boutros Ghali.

  • Description

    GV EXTERIOR Foreign ministry in Cairo

    Semi-CU AND SV Ghali answering questions at interview (2 shots) (SOT)


    REPORTER: "What affect could the current political turmoil in Israel have on current Middle Eastern issues and for instance what affect on the decisions of the Palestinian national council?"

    GHALI: "Certainly again one of the other aspects of the Kahan report is an indirect condemnation of the whole Israeli military advancement in Lebanon. I sa indirect condemnation. Of course it would reinforce the position of the moderates inside the Palestinian organisation. In other words that happened in the last two years. A kind of objective alliance between the radicals in Israel and the radicals in the Arab world, even among the Palestinians. Now if we can create a kind of alliance between the moderates inside Israel and the moderate inside the Arab worlds and inside the Palestinian organisation this alliance could help us to give a new momentum to the peace process.

    REPORTER: "Did anything you discovered in Iraq during the recent trip convince you that Egypt should increase its military aid to Iraq?"

    GHALI: "There is a very important relation between Egypt and Iraq and this relation is based not only on continued consultation on the diplomatic level but on military aid giving from Egypt to Iraq. Because as long as the Iraqi troops were in Iran, we had a position, but the day that Iraq have accepted to return to the international boundaries and that Iranian troops are trying to enter into the Iraqi territory, then our position will change. We have to defend Iraq to preserve peace and territorial integrity."

    REPORTER: "Would that include sending troops?"

    GHALI: "No, certainly not. Our aid, our support will be a diplomatic support, and a support based on giving or selling arms to Iraq, but no Egyptian military presence in Iraq.

    Initials AL/SW

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Israel's indirect role in the Beirut massacre last September may lead to a new impetus in the Middle Eat peace-making process according to Egyptian Foreign Minister Boutros Ghali. Mr. Ghali was speaking at a press conference in Cairo on February 13. He said the findings of the judicial inquiry may lead to the strengthening of the Israeli moderates, who believe in dialogue and negotiations. The inquiry demanded the dismissal of Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon for his indirect role in the massacre of 700 to 800 Palestinians living at the Shatilla and Sabra refugee camps in Beirut. On February 11 Mr Sharon resigned. Mr. Ghali said with the removal of Mr. sharon, a more moderate attitude may be introduced. He said it could also lead to the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Mr. Ghali also commented on his talks with the leaders of Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq during his visit to those countries from February 10 to 12. Possibly his most significant talks were with Iraqi president Saddam Husein. Egypt have been supplying Iraqi with arms and ammunition in its 29-month-old war against Iran. Mr. Shali delivered a message to President Hussein from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reaffirming Egypt's support for Iraq in the war. Mr. Ghali said while Iraq is in Iran Egypt would support Iraq. But the day Iraq accepted a return to international boundaries with Iran and Iranian troops try to enter Iraq, Egypt's position would change. He dismissed the prospect of Egypt sending troops to fight for Iraq.

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