Egypt Warns of Rage Over U.S. Mideast Policy (Oil Embargo?)

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Is there an oil embargo forthcoming? Hyperlink: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28053-2001Aug18.html

Egypt Warns of Rage Over U.S. Mideast Policy By Alan Sipress Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, August 18, 2001

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's closest foreign policy adviser delivered a stark personal warning to the Bush administration yesterday, telling senior officials that the United States will face mounting rage in the Middle East unless it does much more to defuse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

During a hastily arranged trip to Washington, Osama Baz urged Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to adopt a "more active and engaged role," including the possible deployment of U.S. observers to the Middle East.

"We told them that if the situation is left as it is, it might create . . . a state of enormous instability in the region that endangers the interests of both the countries in the region and the United States," Baz said in an interview after separate meetings with Powell and Rice.

Among many Arabs, he said, "there is a conception that the United States doesn't care enough or doesn't care at all. If the United States does care, they are biased toward Israel." He warned this could fuel anti-American extremism that could undermine U.S. allies in the region.

Egypt plays a pivotal role in the Middle East because it is the United States' most influential Arab ally and one of only two Arab countries that have full diplomatic relations with Israel. Mubarak is also Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's most important benefactor.

While reinforcing the call for greater U.S. involvement, which is now coming from many Arab and European capitals, Baz said Egypt shares U.S. support for the Mitchell committee's blueprint for ending the 11-month old surge in violence. That plan, drafted by an international team headed by former senator George J. Mitchell, provides for an initial period of calm, followed by measures to rebuild confidence between Israelis and Palestinians and a return to negotiations over a long-term settlement.

But Baz said the proposed timeline must be shortened, with the Palestinians offered more immediate incentives, such as easing the economic blockade of their areas and the deployment of up to 25 foreign observers.

He acknowledged that U.S. officials were skeptical about his suggestions. "They had some reservations but said they would consider the proposals," he said.

Administration officials told him that Israel must agree to any plan for dispatching foreign observers and that Arafat needs to clamp down more forcefully on anti-Israel militants before further steps are taken.

After meeting Baz, Powell told reporters, "We reaffirmed our commitment to the Mitchell plan and the need for everybody to do everything in their power to get the level of violence down . . . ."

Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company, Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), August 18, 2001

Answers

"But Baz said the proposed timeline must be shortened, with the Palestinians offered more immediate incentives, such as easing the economic blockade of their areas and the deployment of up to 25 foreign observers."

Osama: I'm sure the Israelis will cut a deal. My guess is that it would go something like this: If Palestinians would like to export products and work in Israel the PA would be required to arrest all the terrorists and to take the last offer that was given by Barak. Pretty simple isn't it?

-- Steve (ke6bjd@yahoo.com), August 20, 2001.


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