Egyptian leader to press Bush on Palestinian state

Washington, June 08: President Bush and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will continue intense discussions on Saturday about ending violence in the Middle East after a private dinner at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Washington, June 08: President Bush and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will continue intense discussions on Saturday about ending violence in the Middle East after a private dinner at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Mubarak is pressing Bush to support declaration of a Palestinian state before its final borders are set as a way to jump-start the peace process, and stop 20 months of bloodshed that have killed at least 1,383 Palestinians and 505 Israelis.

Mubarak said it was unrealistic to expect an end to the violence until a U.S.-backed plan was in place leading to early Palestinian statehood.

"Believe me, the violence will not stop ... it will not happen," Mubarak told The Washington Post in an interview published Saturday. "The only way to stop this is to give hope to the people."

Mubarak said he favoured reforming the Palestinian Authority, particularly its security services, but said Israel must also show flexibility, including withdrawing its troops from the West Bank.

Bureau Report

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