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Egypt
President Hosni Mubarak
Interview with BBC TV (edited)
September 17, 2001

President Hosni Mubarak called on the US not to rush in avenging Tuesday’s attacks on targets in Washington and New York before having a clear-cut evidence against perpetrators of the attacks.
In an interview with the BBC TV late Monday, President Mubarak advised US President George W. Bush not to be hasty in retaliation, and to await an irrefutable evidence against those who committed the crime.

"War should not be waged against a country because of some individuals or small organizations," asserted Mubarak.

He added that there should be serious work before taking a certain measure.

Mubarak called for not jumping to conclusions without a full investigation so as to be able to reach a sound decision.

Asked about reactions in the Middle East in case of Muslims in Afghanistan fell victims to possible US retaliatory operations, Mubarak advised the US not to attack a country because of small organization.

We should first seek to find who committed the crime, but innocent people should not be punished, as they would be killed just like those who were killed in the US or another country.

Asked whether Egypt could participate with forces in an action, Mubarak said: We are not talking about Egyptian forces", adding that such a thing requires an agreement and a consent from the parliament. British and US forces are enough, Mubarak said.

Asked what could happen in the Middle East if the US attacked Osama Ben Laden’s bases in Afghanistan and killed him, Mubarak said" I can not say that Ben Laden is solely responsible."

Mubarak pressed for seeking the truth about the organization as a whole and persons in it.

On his advice, President Mubarak said: "Do not attack Afghanistan and do not kill Ben Laden because this would create a new generation working for terrorism."

Replying to a query on the Palestinian -Israeli Middle East peace process, Mubarak said though it is a big problem, it still can be solved.

He recalled Palestinian -Israeli negotiations in the Egyptian border resort of Taba where both sides offered concessions and were about to reach an agreement.

"The problem requires both parties to exert enormous efforts in order to reach an agreement but the west and the Americans can not leave them alone to solve the problem as this will lead to a disaster," Mubarak warned. "In case of a disaster, all countries near the Middle East will suffer," he cautioned.

Mubarak stressed the need for hard work to solve the Middle East issue, describing it as the largest conflict in the world.

Mubarak voiced his belief that there is a hope for a solution to the Middle East issue as there are people who want this situation to be solved, asserting it should be put into consideration that the issue of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) in one of the most important issues.

“Since the launch of the peace process by late President Anwar Sadat, the Arabs adopted a unanimous stance rejecting any Israeli sovereignty over the holy places, “said Mubarak.

“There is no single Muslim or cop who accepts Israel sovereignty over Al Quds,” the President said.

Mubarak reiterated that Al Quds is an occupied Arab territory and if a peace agreement were signed, with the Arab having sovereignty over the holy city, coexistence between Israelis, Arabs and Palestinian would be quite easy.

END