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Egypt: Mubarak holds meeting with Sarkozy ahead of Washington visit
Global Arab Network - - Ahmed Gamal
France (Paris ) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has arrived in Paris on the first leg of a tour that will take him also to the United States.

The President embarked on a three-day working visit to France during which he will have a summit meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Talks between Presidents Mubarak and Sarkozy will deal with the Middle East issue, launching direct negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides along with bilateral relations, official source informed Global Arab Network.

President Mubarak's visit to France reflects the strategic partnership between the two countries, Egyptian ambassador in Paris Nasser Kamel said.

In statements on Saturday, Kamel said President Mubarak was keen to stop over in Paris ahead of Washington visit for consultations with his French counterpart Sarkozy on the Middle East peace march along with a range of other regional issues of joint interest, the ambassador added.

According to Egyptian Ambassador in Paris Nasser Kamel, Mubarak's visit to France stresses keenness on using the Egyptian-French co-chairmanship of the Union for the Mediterranean in boosting diplomatic efforts.

Egypt and France want to take advantage of the union's co-chairmanship to submit a clear message that the Mediterranean peoples look forward to reaching a comprehensive and just settlement, the Egyptian diplomat added.

Mubarak, accompanied by an Egyptian delegation composed of Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, Minister of Information Anas al-Feki, Chief of Presidential Staff Zakareyya Azmi, and Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Omar Soliman, will meet US President Barack Obama on Wednesday. Mubarak will attend an iftar at the White House for participating delegations.

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