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    INTRODUCTION: The British Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen, ended a two-day official visit in Cairo?

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    INTRODUCTION: The British Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen, ended a two-day official visit in Cairo on Tuesday (26 April) after a series of talks with Egyptian leaders. Soviet activities and the Middle East crisis featured prominently on the agenda.

    SYNOPSIS:Dr. Owen held talks with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ismail Fahmy, on Monday (25 April). One of the other issues on the agenda included the role of Britain and other European Common Market (EEC) countries in the reconvening of the peace conference, which last met in December, 1973. But according to Dr. Owen "the time was not ripe at the moment." But he stressed the need for some peace movement to be initiated in 1977.

    During the two-and-a-half hours of talks, Dr. Owen is reported to have told Mr. Fahmy that the nine EEC countries were ready and willing to take some kind of semi-independent initiative next autumn.

    Dr. Owen also stressed the importance of the role of the United States in achieving a peace settlement. Much of the meeting was devoted to the Middle East. But African problems, including Rhodesia, South Africa and South West Africa, were also discussed. Egypt has been strongly critical of Soviet activity in Africa.

    Afterwards Dr. Owen had a 45-minute meeting with Mr. Mahmoud Riad, Secretary-General of the Arab League. They stressed the need for European-Arab cooperation, especially in such fields as the transfer of technology. Dr. Owen leaves for Damascus on Tuesday (26 April) on the second leg of his Middle East tour.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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