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Egypt's Mubarak arrives in US for Obama talks

world Updated: Aug 17, 2009 18:00 IST
Hindustan times

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrived in the United States on Saturday, the Egyptian embassy said, for a trip that is scheduled to include his first White House meeting with President Barack Obama.

Arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, the Egyptian leader is not expected to have any public engagements until Monday, when he will meet with several administration officials.

An Egyptian official said that Mubarak was scheduled to meet on Monday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Advisor James Jones and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair.

He is also to meet with American Jewish groups, as he has done on previous US trips, though no details were released about which organizations would be included on this visit.

On Tuesday, Mubarak will meet Obama at the White House. Egypt's official MENA news agency reported that their discussions would focus on "the Palestinian question, ways of relaunching the peace process and issues linked to regional security and the consequences of the nuclear issue on the Gulf and the Middle East."

Israel and the Palestinians relaunched peace talks at a US-hosted conference in November 2007 but the Palestinians suspended the negotiations during Israel's three-week war on the Hamas movement in Gaza at the turn of the year.

Washington accuses Iran of seeking to build an atomic weapon in its controversial nuclear programme of uranium enrichment, an allegation denied by Tehran which says the project is entirely peaceful.

It will be the third meeting between Obama and Mubarak, who is accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Finance Minister Yusef Boutros-Ghali, as well as Egypt's information and trade ministers and intelligence chief.

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