Egyptian FM: US, Israeli tanks make Mideast unstable

Says single state for both Arabs and Israelis should be established if no peace deal reached in a decade.

gheit 224 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gheit 224 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed his frustration Monday over what he called a lack of political will to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Aboul Gheit's comments come a day after US President George W. Bush toured the region, ostensibly to promote US-led peace efforts in the region. However, Bush's speech at this Red Sea resort town was widely seen, by many Arabs, as being overly slanted towards Israel. Aboul Gheit said in an official statement that "if there was a genuine will, Israel could have ended the occupation (of Palestinian lands) by tomorrow." Speaking at the World Economic Forum, he also said that "the existence of American and Israeli tanks on Arab soil is leading to more instability in the region." The minister also made the unusual move of echoing a little-heeded proposal first made by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to establish a single state for both Arabs and Israelis - if there is still no agreement after a decade. Aboul Gheit said: "If we do not reach a settlement in 10 years, may be then the only solution would be 'Isratine' state that was suggested by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi a long time ago."