Mubarak says he hopes US plan in Iraq will succeed

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Friday he hopes the new US strategy in Iraq will succeed, saying it would benefit the entire Mideast. Egypt has so far voiced the most positive reaction among US Arab allies to the plan announced by President George W. Bush to try to stabilize Iraq by deploying 21,000 more American troops, aimed at putting down Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. The plan has met deep skepticism across the Arab world, with many Arab leaders saying they doubt Iraq's Shiite-led government will fulfil its side of the plan. In particular, they have questioned whether it will crack down on Shiite militias allied to the government and blamed in killings of Sunni Arabs. Mubarak's comment came after he met Monday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who appealed for Arab allies to help support Iraq's government.