Egypt will not resume diplomatic relations with Israel until an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon commences.
TRANSCRIPT - SEQUENCE ONE - President Mubarak speaking and reporter asking questions.
MUBARAK: "I said before when the war -- the invasion --- of Lebanon started -- I said that there was a gentleman agreement between Israel and Syria on the region of Lebanon. And there was some conditions between both. Why did I come to this conclusion? The reason is when the Israelis invaded Lebanon and reached the front-line of the Syrian forces in Lebanon no combat action took place between both and the Israelis proceeded forward to the north 'til they reached near Beirut."
GUMBEL: "Can't that be explained by reluctance of both to aggravate the situation?"
MUBARAK: "I can be explained in so many directions. As Syria to take the (indistinct) -- this area which they were staying in.... A reluctance for division. So many thing came out after this invasion. We are involved within the Palestinian problem since 1949, maybe before. We are in this Palestinian problem for more than 30 years. We have lost over the 100,000 between injured and killed in different wars for the Palestinian problem. We lost one hundred million Egyptian pounds spent on these problems. Still, and until this moment, we are going our best and we are not going to leave the Palestinian problem until it is completely solved. Navruch (phonetic) should realise that Egypt is an Arab country. And yet we have signed the peace treaty with the Esraelis, and we respect our world. We and our country and our people are looking forward for peace -- lasting peace -- and we respect that, and we are doing our best for peace forever. But look my friend they invaded Lebanon, a region of an Arab country. Could we seek further lands like this? We did the lest which we could do."
GUMBEL: "You withdrew your ambassador?"
GUMBEL: "When will that ambassador return to Israel?
MUBARAK: "I declare when they agree and there is a plan for a complete withdrawal from Lebanon -- and they start executing this plan."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Egypt will not resume diplomatic relations with Israel until an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon commences. President Hosni Mobarak clearly indicated his policy to NBC reporter Bryant Gumbel on January 12 in Cairo. Mr. Mubarak said that before Israeli invaded Lebanon he concluded there was a gentleman's agreement between Israel and Syria concerning that country. He believed this because no combative action occurred when the Israeli troops reached the front line of the Syrian forces. He said Egypt had been involved with the Palestinian problem for more than 30 years. It had cost his country 100,000 of its people killed or injured in a number of wars and 118 million dollars. But Egypt would not let go of the Palestinian problem until it was completely solved. The President said that Egypt had signed a peace treaty with Israel, but Israel had invaded Lebanon. So Egypt did the least it could do -- it withdrew its ambassador. Asked by Bryant Gumbel when the ambassador would return to Israel, Mr. Mubarak declared that he would do so when Israel started to execute a plan for a complete withdrawal from Lebanon.