Obama looks to Mubarak for help in Mideast peace
Washington: President Barack Obama, looking to kickstart the stalled Middle East peace process, will hold talks on Tuesday with Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who Washington hopes can help to get things moving.
The two presidents will meet during Mubarak`s first visit to Washington since 2003. Relations between Washington and Cairo deteriorated under the former Bush administration, whose focus on human rights and democracy promotion angered Egypt.
Obama, who has been less vocal about these issues in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, has made finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a top priority.
"The trip is symbolic of the rewarming of a relationship that underwent a lot of tension during President Bush`s time in office," said Tamara Cofman Wittes, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington.
Mubarak`s visit comes as the Obama administration has been pushing moderate Arab states to take steps that could encourage Israel to freeze settlement building on Palestinian territory.
Arab states have so far been cool to the idea of steps such as giving overflight rights to Israeli civilian aircraft, lifting bans on visitors with Israeli stamps in their passports and allowing Israel to open interest sections in foreign embassies in Arab capitals.
They have put the onus on Israel to revive the peace process, while Israel has said the Palestinians and Arab states must first do more to advance the peace process.
A senior U.S. administration official said Obama and Mubarak would have a "robust discussion on the state of play in the Middle East." "In particular, the president will want to discuss how Arab states can help create a context to launch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, by agreeing to gestures toward Israel in the context of the Arab Peace Initiative," he said.
Arab leaders say they remain committed to the initiative, which offers Israel recognition in return for withdrawal from Arab land occupied in 1967, creation of a Palestinian state and a "just" solution for Palestinian refugees.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Afzal Guru row: JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU - Part II
- Watch: How students at JNU showcased anti-India spirit! - Part II
- DNA: Gravitational waves detected, proving Einstein right!
- 4th ODI: South Africa vs England - Hosts win game by solitary wicket to level series
- Why Modi never spoke on issues like beef or Muzaffarnagar, asks Manmohan Singh
- JNUSU prez Kanhaiya Kumar sent to 3-day police custody over Afzal Guru row, says being targeted for defeating ABVP in polls
- Ex-Army officers threaten to return JNU degrees against 'anti-national' activities in campus
- Delhi Police issues alert over alleged Hafiz Saeed's tweet backing 'pro-Pak' JNU protesters