June 23, 1998
Underlining that Egypt is a peace-advocate State, President Hosni Mubarak said Egypt neither supports war nor the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or other weapons.
This came in statements the President made Tuesday morning following the inspection of the Egyptian contingent, participating in the international peace-keeping forces in the Central African Republic (CAR).
"Egypt supports peace and does not encourage war, as it had experienced the woes and ravages of war," the President said, adding that Egypt seeks to take part in peace-keeping operations, out of its continent that without peace, there would be neither welfare nor stability for peoples.
Our tasks as peace-keeping forces, either in Bosnia-Herzegovina at present, in Somalia in the past or in CAR and other African countries are mainly to work for keeping peace. Egypt is member, along with 10 European and African states, of the peace-keeping force in CAR.
On problems facing the Middle East region, including the Israeli government's intransigence as regards the peace process, President |Mubarak said what is going on at present will not absolutely bring about calm in the region.
"The problems will continue as long as the Palestinians are denied their rights," the President added. He paid tribute to the Egyptian contingents taking part in the international peace-keeping forces, wishing them all good luck. "Operating as peace-keepers, the Egyptian troops have been always a source of honour to their country wherever they be based, Mubarak expounded.
President Mubarak was received upon arrival by Minister of Defence and Military Production and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Lt. General Magdi Hatata as well as a number of other high-ranking armed forces commanders.
The President was keen on shaking hands with members of the Egyptian contingent taking part in the international peace-keeping forces in the CAR, who are to leave later Tuesday. The Egyptian armed forces' participation in the international peace-keeping forces comes within the framework of UN keenness on Egypt's joining these forces due to its major role at international and regional levels to maintain peace.
It also comes out of President Mubarak's deep interest in bringing about peace in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The Egyptian Armed Forces have earned, through their honourable coordination with the UN, the respect and confidence of all world countries, having already taken part in the peace-keeping forces in Somalia.
An Egyptian contingent is still participating in the international peace-keeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1992. The UN asked Egypt to participate in the peace-keeping forces in the CAR until elections there are held and situation stabilised within the coming six months.
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