Mubarak, Merkel call on PA, Israel to be creative at talks

Egyptian and German leaders try to encourage peace process during Mubarak state-visit to Germany.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. AP 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. AP 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday called on Israel and the Palestinians to show "courage and creativity" in their ongoing peace talks, AFP reported.
"Germany and Egypt see a rare opportunity in these negotiations for progress in the peace process and encourage the two parties to use this opportunity with courage and creativity," said a joint statement released during the Egyptians leader's visit to Germany.
RELATED:Gov’t rejects extended freeze, despite heavy pressureEgyptian newspaper defends doctored peace talks photoEgypt has attempted to take a leading role in the recent peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian authority as a way of showing its continued regional influence in the Middle East.
An Egyptian state-run newspaper last Friday defended a decision to publish a doctored photograph putting Egypt's president front and center at Mideast peace talks in Washington, saying it was meant to illustrate Hosni Mubarak's key role.
The original photo shows President Barack Obama in the lead, flanked by the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II on the red carpet as the talks got under way Sept. 1 in Washington.
Al-Ahram, Egypt's oldest newspaper, altered the image in its Tuesday edition to show Mubarak in the lead, with Obama slightly behind him to his right, plastered over a broadsheet article titled "the Road to Sharm El Sheikh." That was referring to the Egyptian Red Sea resort that hosted the second round of negotiations, which wrapped up in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Critics said the photo was an attempt to distract attention from the fact that Egypt's role in the Mideast peace process has waned.