Excerpts from Bush-Mubarak statement

/ Source: The Associated Press

In our meetings today, we reiterated our resolve to continue working, along with our partners in the region, in Europe, and around the world, to promote peace in the Middle East, maintain regional stability, fight terrorism, and bolster the region’s efforts toward economic, political, and social development and modernization.

We envisage two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security. We will continue our determined efforts in the forthcoming months to achieve these objectives.

We believe that an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank can, under the right conditions, and if it is within the context of the implementation of the roadmap and President Bush’s vision, be a significant step forward. It is our firm conviction that resolving the Arab Israeli conflict will be a major contribution to stability and progress in the region, removing a major source of tension.

Egypt and the United States also recognize the need for political and economic reform in the region. The United States has followed the steps taken by Egypt over the past few years, as well as the ongoing debate on reform in different sectors of Egyptian society. This ongoing debate, including the call for reform produced at the meeting of Arab civil society held at the Library of Alexandria last March, as well as the speech given by President Mubarak in the opening of that meeting reaffirming his commitment for a continuing reform process, provide for a constructive foundation for further efforts toward democracy and development.

Iraq faces a critical moment in its history, with wide implications across the region. We are committed to helping the Iraqi people realize their aspirations to build a sovereign, prosperous, stable, unified, and peaceful modern nation.