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02 August 2002

Text: Text: Sinai Peacekeeping Talks Take Place in Washington

(U.S., Egypt, Israel reaffirm commitment to regional stability) (510)
Representatives of the U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli governments began
discussions August 1 regarding the future structure of the
Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), the international
peacekeeping force stationed in the Sinai Peninsula.
The MFO is an independent peacekeeping mission created following the
Camp David accords in 1978. These latest rounds of consultation are
intended to ascertain how best to maintain the MFO's effectiveness,
and what role U.S. forces should play in the region.
"The United States reaffirms- and Egypt and Israel acknowledge - its
commitment to continued support for Egyptian-Israeli peace, and for
the MFO as a force contributing to the broad objectives of enhancing
and sustaining regional stability," a joint statement said.
Following is the full text of the American, Israeli, and Egyptian
joint statement on the MFO consultations:
(begin text)
U.S. Department of Defense
News Release
August 1, 2002
JOINT STATEMENT ON MULTINATIONAL FORCE AND OBSERVERS
At the invitation of the United States, representatives of the
governments of Israel and Egypt, and with the participation of the
director general of the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO),
conducted trilateral consultations on the structure and composition of
the MFO.
The delegations were headed by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J.
Feith, Maj. Gen. Abou Bakr of Egypt, and retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron
of Israel.
The three sides agree upon the historic and vital role played by the
MFO since the establishment of peace between Egypt and Israel and
express appreciation for the contributions made by all participants in
the MFO, especially the U.S. Army.
The United States reaffirms - and Egypt and Israel acknowledge - its
commitment to continued support for Egyptian-Israeli peace, and for
the MFO as a force contributing to the broad objectives of enhancing
and sustaining regional security and stability. All sides agree upon
the need to ensure that the MFO continues to carry out its mission in
the most efficient manner possible.
In this regard, the sides agree to conduct further, expert-level
discussions to determine how best to maintain the effectiveness of the
MFO, while rationalizing the participation of United States forces.
Both Egypt and Israel express their understanding of the competing
requirements faced by United States forces around the world,
especially in light of the war on terror.
The governments of Egypt and Israel express their appreciation to the
United States for the opportunity to conduct these highly constructive
consultations.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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