December 13th, 1998
Presidential Political Adviser Dr. Osama Al Baz said the majority of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples realise the importance of co-existence in peace.
Speaking at a seminar "Egypt and the Palestine issue" held by the Sadat Academy for Administrative Sciences, Baz said Saturday that the Wye River Agreement was signed to activate agreements signed by the former Labour Party in Israel which the present Likud government tries to avoid.
"We do not expect big positive results from the visit of US President Bill Clinton to the area," Baz said. But a positive factor is the fact that President Clinton will land at Gaza airport where he will be welcomed by President Arafat," he added.
Baz took this as a symbolic and sentimental recognition. "Clinton will listen to reports from US representatives in the area about security issues which the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to exaggerate and hold the Palestinian side responsible for any security shortcoming," Baz said.
Baz said Egypt is interested in the Palestine issue because of the importance of stability in the area which would lead to an improvement in the standard of living of the peoples of the area and support development.
He underlined the importance of a balanced and just peace, and stressed that Egypt asks Israel to make progress on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks. Baz called on Israel to liquidate its nuclear programme and asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to supervise the Israeli nuclear programme.
Baz, further, said that Egypt has the means and Israel cannot commit aggression on Egypt. He stressed that the military, political and population position of Egypt does not make Israel think at all of commiting aggression on Egypt. Referring to Hamas opposition to the Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement, Baz pointed out that there is opposition on both sides.
Baz said Copts in Egypt have never been subjected to any persecution as claimed by quarters which are hostile to Egypt. All are equal before the law. Dealing with the Turkish-Israeli military alliance, Baz said that any alliance in the area threatens its stability.
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