Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he is prepared to meet Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for talks on settling their countries' disputes.
GV EXTERIOR Statistics Centre, Cairo
SV INTERIOR Mubarak enters and is met by reporters who commence questioning (SOT)
SV EXTERIOR Mubarak walks down steps, followed reporters
SPEECH TRANSCRIPT FOR SEQUENCE TWO:
REPORTER (1): "Israel ignored Egypt's request about the hotel in Taba (Sinai coastal strip). Does this mean Egypt has no more bargaining power with Israel?"
MUBARAK: "I think it's better to leave this issue for negotiations. Israel could say whatever she wants to say."
REPORTER (1): "But if Egypt has little bargaining power, the negotiations are doomed, aren't they?"
MUBARAK: "Because of the hotel?"
REPORTER (1): "Because of Taba, the hotel, because they have gone ahead and done what you...."
MUBARAK: "That's very good. They could prepare it very well and also pay for it and take it (indistinct)."
REPORTER (1): "Mr. President, you have talked of it on frequent occasions....."
REPORTER (2): "And you said we must negotiate these issues, what kind of negotiations would you like to see to open up this entire problem of the Middle East, so that it could be resolved? It's in pieces now."
MUBARAKl: "What's a problem of the Middle East, I could tell you the negotiations should have a new element now which is head of the negotiations. It's the Jordanians and Palestinians. Until they agree with each other, how to format how to agree with each other containing (indistinct) or this point. I think the negotiations could be helped on this basis, according to Reagan's (US President) plan."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he is prepared to meet Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for talks on settling their countries' disputes. Questioned by reporters in Cairo on November 2, President Mubarak said there is no personality clash, but did not make it clear if he is prepared to travel to Jerusalem for a meeting with his Israeli counterpart. Commenting on the opening on November 1 of an Israeli luxury hotel in the Sinai coastal strip of Taba, the Egyptian leader said this was a sovereignty issue best
left to formal negotiations. President Mubarak said he also believed the relationship between the Jordanians and Palestinians formed a critical basis for future Middle East peace negotiations.