The World's Aaron Schachter reports on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trip to Egypt for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
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LISA MULLINS: Iran was on the agenda for today's meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak. The two leaders held talks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. It was Netanyahu's first visit to an Arab country since he took office six weeks ago. The World's Aaron Schachter reports on today's meeting.
AARON SCHACHTER: Netanyahu and his government have not exactly endeared themselves to the Arab world. The Israeli leader has so far refused to support the creation of a Palestinian state. And Israel's current Foreign Minister once said Egyptian President Mubarak could â€œgo to hellâ€ for refusing to visit Israel. So today's meeting was as much about fence-mending as anything else. And that's what seems to have happened. President Mubarak called the talks frank and constructive.
PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK: The Prime Minister has reassured me of his government's commitment to seek peace. On my part, I stressed to him that Egypt is looking forward to positive stances which reflect this commitment, and which would bring about peace on the Palestinian track in accordance with the two-state solution.
SCHACHTER: Prime Minister Netanyahu told Mubarak the only way forward is for Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace, security, and prosperity. Netanyahu said he hopes to resume talks soon between the Israelis and Palestinians. He also called Egyptian-Israeli peace, cemented more than 30 years ago, a strategic asset for both countries, especially on issues of extremism and terror. He may have been alluding to the threats both say the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, and Iran pose to the region. But Jeffrey Aronson, of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, says Egypt and Israel may have common enemies but that doesn't make them friends.
JEFFREY ARONSON: You could say that each of the parties has a certain kind of shared interest vis a vis Hamas, but certainly not for the same reasons. And the fact that there may be some commonality between these two states does not make for a foundation for a cooperative demarche towards Iran or a more hostile policy towards them.
SCHACHTER: It's hard to imagine Egypt and Israel cooperating on Iran, or just about anything other than moving toward peace with the Palestinians. That's according to Diaa Rashwan. He chairs the Comparative Politics Department at Al-Ahran Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo.
DIAA RASHWAN: The agenda between any Israeli official and any Egyptian official is the Palestinian question. It is not the Iranian question.
SCHACHTER: Meanwhile, published reports today quote Jordan's King Abdullah as saying the Obama Administration is promoting a peace plan with all Muslim nations that Abdullah calls â€œa 57-state solutionâ€. The king emphasized that those states are not confined to the Middle East, but would include Morocco in the Atlantic and Indonesia in the Pacific. For The World, I'm Aaron Schachter.