US for two-state solution to West Asian conflict

The US will continue efforts to end Arab-Israeli conflict and achieve two-state solution on 04 June 1967 borders.

Cairo: The US will continue efforts to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and achieve the two-state solution on the 04 June 1967 borders, an envoy has said.

During a meeting with Zaqaziq University students, the US Ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, said her country is also responsible for putting an end to the Iraq war as well as conflicts in Afghanistan, Sudan and other parts of the world.

Scobey described US President Barack Obama`s initiative to intervene to resolve the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel as a historic chance.

Ambassador Scobey hailed Egyptian efforts to achieve comprehensive economic development and merge with world markets as part of free market economy.

She said the United States is Egypt`s first trade partner, adding the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached USD 4 billion in 2004 then doubled in 2008 to reach USD 8.5 billion but dropped to USD 7 billion in 2009 as a result of the world economic crisis.

She said inter-trade jumped by 124 percent during the past five years while Egypt`s exports to the United States increased by 100 percent.

The US diplomat said her country receives 33 percent of Egypt `s total exports abroad.

Ambassador Scobey said an agreement was reached with Minister of Higher Education and State Minister for Scientific Research Hani Hilal to declare 2011 as the year of Egyptian-American science.

A sum of USD 8 million had been allocated to encourage partnership in this domain, said the US diplomat. Asked by students about the US bias toward Israel and continuation of settlement construction in the Palestinian territories, the US ambassador said her country is bound by a strong strategic commitment to the Israeli government but at the same time the United States has strong relations with most countries in the Arab region.

The ambassador, meanwhile, said her country backs the Nile Basin initiative and hopes for an agreement among the Nile basin countries to preserve their interests and achieve their development goals.

Ambassador Scobey said the US is not trying to force the US democratic model on Egypt but is rather seeks to support the civil society and promote its status in accordance with international laws and regulations.

She praised the Egyptian government`s efforts in this regard, including the enactment of a law on fighting human trafficking as well the civil society`s interest in environmental issues and conserving the Nile water.

The US is willing to enter into strong partnerships with countries of the Arab and Muslim worlds through the promotion of education, science and technology, she added.