SLUG: 2-281054 EGYPT / TERROR / DIPLOMACY
TITLE= EGYPT / TERROR / DIPLOMACY (L)
TEXT: Egypt, one of Washington's closest Arab allies, is expressing support for the U-S war against terrorism but believes the problem will not be resolved until there is a solution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. Correspondent Nick Simeone reports on two issues U-S and Egyptian officials spent time discussing Wednesday as the Bush administration continues to build an international coalition against terrorism.
TEXT: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has cautioned against U-S retaliation in response to this month's terrorist attacks. In Berlin Wednesday, he told reporters any comprehensive approach toward rooting out terrorism needs to address the half-century-old Arab - Israeli dispute which he believes is driving it.
There appeared to be at least a glimmer of hope Wednesday on that front, after what had been an on-again, off-again meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, finally took place. Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters this initial session produced progress that could cement a ceasefire and move both sides toward the kind of substantive issues that a year of fighting has put on hold.
/// POWELL ACT ///
This is a hopeful sign and I hope that we can move rapidly through this process so that we can begin to see confidence building activities in the region, we can see a ceasefire that really takes hold.
/// END ACT ///
In Washington, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher emerged from meetings at the State Department pledging to help both sides take steps to build on this progress. But on terrorism, he again cautioned the United States against any military response that could kill innocent people.
/// MAHER ACT //
We believe that the United States, as the government of a country that believes in law and justice, will act on the basis of a good case and I'm sure they have a good case against the culprits who committed this horrible crime.
/// END ACT ///
Instead of a U-S military response that he says will only create a new generation of Islamic militants, Egyptian President Mubarak is calling for an international convention to deal with terrorism. (SIGNED)
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