Egyptian Vice-President Hosni Mubarak said on Monday (8 September) that his country and Israel must reach broad agreement on the vital question of Jerusalem before negotiations on Palestinian autonomy can make headway.
GV EXTERIOR Elysee Palace in Paris, France
GV Egyptian Vice-President Hosni Mubarak greeted by French Foreign Minister Jean Francois-Poncet and other officials
SV Vice-President Mubarak speaking in French
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Background: Egyptian Vice-President Hosni Mubarak said on Monday (8 September) that his country and Israel must reach broad agreement on the vital question of Jerusalem before negotiations on Palestinian autonomy can make headway. Mr Mubarak, who arrived in Paris on Sunday (7 September) as part of his six-nation European tour, told reporters there that Jerusalem was part of the West Bank and an essential aspect of the autonomy talks.
SYNOPSIS: The Elysee Palace had not seen an important Egyptian delegation for 15 months, and Vice-President Mubarak's talks with French leaders were reported by the press as marking the end of cool relations between the two counties. Vice-President Mubarak conferred with President Valery Giscard D'Estaing for more than an hour. French Foreign Minister Jean Francois-Poncet also attended the talks.
After the discussions, Vice-President Mubarak spoke to reporters. His European tour is aimed at increasing diplomatic pressure on Israel, and inevitably his comments centred on current Middle East issues. Asked about the Camp David agreements, Vice-President Mubarak said the accords remained the basic framework for a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. But, he added, "the essential thing is to reach a consensus on the vital question of Jerusalem. Jerusalem he said "is the fundamental issue regarding Palestinian autonomy, and such broad agreement could then be submitted to a summit."
Egypt suspended negotiations with Israel on Palestinian autonomy last month in protest against Israeli legislation declaring Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital. United States special envoy Sol Linowitz announced last Thursday (4 September) that the two countries had agreed to resume the negotiations and take part in a three-way summit with the United States.
Vice-President Mubarak said such a tripartite summit could be held after the U.S. Presidential elections in November or possibly December. Mr Mubarak suggested the delegations could meet in the United States, provided, he said "a climate of confidence is restored and broad agreement on Jerusalem is reached."