Statements on Outcome of Talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, esteemed ladies and gentlemen.
I am genuinely glad to again host in Moscow our esteemed guest, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Hosni Mubarak.
We regard this visit as a significant phase in bilateral relations, which have a rich history, and, I am convinced - a very good future. I want to stress - we had a very thorough, frank conversation between keen partners and friends. Generally I must note that the Egyptian President came to Moscow at the very appropriate time. I wish to thank him for that, as we know what events are now taking place in the world, and consultations with one of the key countries of the region are extremely important for us.
At the meeting it was again borne out that our countries have a common view of key international issues. The talk was both about the creation of a just world order in general and about the search of answers to global threats and about joint counteraction against terrorism. This last theme, of course, was one of the main on our agenda. Serious attention was devoted to the situation in the Middle East, in particular, the prospects for establishing a long-term and comprehensive peace in the region. It was noted that an essential precondition for achieving this objective of settlement is the implementation of the appropriate resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and of the Madrid Principles. Taking into account the weighty role of Egypt in Middle Eastern affairs, we discussed possible steps for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is our common belief that the road towards this is a return to the implementation of the provisions of the roadmap drawn up by the Quartet and accepted by all the concerned parties. We also talked about the necessity to improve the situation on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks. And, of course, about the current situation in Iraq.
Russia and Egypt are concerned by the dramatic events taking place there, and stand for the early restoration of the sovereignty of Iraq and for the preservation of its territorial integrity. We consider it necessary to enhance the role of the international community - and especially the United Nations - in the processes of political and socioeconomic revival of that country. To achieve these aims we consider it expedient to call an international conference. Its participants should be the representatives of the Iraqi people, the neighbor-countries of Iraq, the UN Security Council members, and other states. The key task today is to create conditions for a stable and socioeconomic development of the entire Middle East, and the changes should be initiated primarily from within this region and not aggravate the situation, but help resolve crisis situations and promote stability and economic progress.
In discussing the range of bilateral matters, we paid special attention to trade-and-economic ties. We spoke of contacts between business representatives, of investment projects and cooperation ties. I can name the specific fields of our cooperation. Promising, in our view, are energy, aircraft construction, space.
And in conclusion I want to stress - Russia and Egypt have considerable, good potential and a strong will to develop our relations. I wish to thank the Egyptian President for the atmosphere that there was today between us as we discussed all the topics I mentioned, its confidential character and for the open and frank discussion of all these questions.
HOSNI MUBARAK: I am very glad of our present meeting with a dear friend, Mr. Putin, and of the positive atmosphere of our talks. We discussed situation in the world as a whole, and the efforts aimed at resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. For my part I reaffirmed the Arab countries' adherence to the peace initiative that was announced in the course of the Beirut Summit in 2002 and which is the basis for today's settlement. This initiative was reaffirmed once more in the course of the last Arab summit, where all the Arab countries reconfirmed their intentions to work on implementing this initiative.
As regards the Palestinian question I expressed to President Putin our appreciation and high assessment for the role that Russia has been playing within the Quartet. We are unanimous in the view that the implementation of the obligations by both sides - the Palestinian and Israeli - should be reciprocal, balanced and under the control of the mechanism which will be set up by the Quartet. The roadmap is an ideal option for the world community in the early creation of a Palestinian state with the aim of terminating the violence from both sides.
On the Iraq question our views coincide that it is necessary to strengthen the UN's role in dealing with this problem as a whole and as regards the transfer of power to the Iraqi people, which is scheduled for June 30. This process should so operate as to preserve the unity of the multinational and multiconfessional people of Iraq. There should be guaranteed the sovereignty of Iraq and its regional security. The transfer of power should in no case be fictitious. It has to be genuine. And the Iraqi people should get a possibility to independently build the institutions of their state without outside interference. All the foreign forces should be withdrawn from Iraqi lands. And President Putin and I hope that these principles will find reflection in the draft resolution that is going to be submitted to the UN Security Council. It is very important that this resolution should not legitimate the state of affairs that we today observe in Iraq and which is incompatible with the sovereignty of that country.
We also discussed the problem of combating terrorism and agreed to intensify the joint work in this direction. We agreed on the necessity to deal with the political problems that arouse in people a feeling of despair and hopelessness, because these feelings are the exact hidden spring of terrorism. Also we spoke of the necessity to strengthen international coordination in the fight against terrorism with the help of international conferences held under UN auspices. We also agreed on the necessity to intensify the international efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Uniform standards have to be devised to guarantee the implementation of all the treaties on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.
Since Russia is a member of the Big Eight we also discussed with President Putin the initiatives for reforms in the Arab countries that will be put forward at the upcoming summit. We are unanimous in the view that these reforms should come from Arab states themselves, and that the program for implementing them should be conditioned by the desire of each country and correspond to its peculiarities - in the first place religious, national and cultural. These reform programs should be carried out on the basis of an Arab initiative, and we discussed with President Putin the statements of the last Arab summit on the programs to develop and modernize Arab society. I stressed that the root solutions to the political and economic problems that exist in the Arab world today will increase the chances of these programs.
Also we discussed the support the Big Eight can provide to the Arab world in carrying out the program of reform. In the first place this involves economic reforms because it is they that are the most important for the development of society.
Of course, we discussed our bilateral relations, which have been rapidly developing in the last few years, and this especially concerns the trade-and-economic exchange. We agreed on the need to develop these ties, to increase mutual investments, to strengthen and develop cooperation in the fields of industry, energy, tourism, culture, science and technology. We agreed on a number of measures which should enable our relations, our cooperation to rise to a higher level in order to achieve the objectives set.
I once again thank you, Mr. Putin, for the hospitality and warm welcome. And once again I reconfirm the invitation extended to you previously to visit Egypt at any time convenient for you. I think that this visit will further strengthen the friendship and warm relations existing between us and our peoples.