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Wednesday, 22 November, 2000, 17:34 GMT
Egypt press lauds Israel envoy recall
The recalled Egyptian ambassador Muhammad Bassiouni
Ambassador Bassiouni when ties with Israel were better
Editorials and commentaries in Egyptian newspapers have welcomed the government's decision to recall its ambassador from Israel.

The influential daily Al-Ahram said the recall brought to mind a similar case, when Cairo's envoy was called back in 1982 "to protest against the massacres committed by Israeli forces in Lebanon".

President Mubarak was patient and gave Barak a great many opportunities to re-evaluate his situation

Samir Ragab in The Egyptian Gazette

"It also makes clear that Egypt is essentially an Arab party which supports the Palestinians in their quest to achieve their equal rights, including the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," Al-Ahram said.

Writing in The Egyptian Gazette, Samir Ragab praised President Mubarak's "wise action" in deciding to recall the ambassador in light of "the deteriorating situation".

"The decision was made after it was obvious beyond all doubt that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had stubbornly ignored his commitments to the peace process in the Middle East, irrespective of the fact his policies endanger Israeli interests before everything else."

"President Mubarak was patient and gave Barak a great many opportunities to re-evaluate his situation and respect deals and international accords with the Palestinians.

"Unfortunately, Barak continued to commit crimes against humanity by mercilessly killing innocent and helpless people."

Israel's man unwelcome

Mr Ragab said Egypt had "taken the initiative" in putting into effect the resolutions of the recent Arab summit in Cairo. He called on other Arab nations to follow suit "to force the Israelis to come back to sanity".

"Now, what is Israel waiting for? It should immediately withdraw its ambassador from Israel. Every Egyptian dislikes him. He is a pariah."

Egypt's patience has worn thin

Galal Dowidar, writing in Al Akhbar
Another commentary, in Al Wafd, said Israel had failed to grasp the message of the Cairo summit and the recent Islamic Conference Organisation summit in Qatar.

"Now that Israel has exceeded all limits, Cairo's decision has spelt out to Israel the exact position of the red line."

"Cairo, with all Arabs behind it, will not allow the extermination of the Palestinian people," Al-Wafd said.

"Egypt's patience has worn thin," said Galal Dowidar, writing in Al Akhbar. "It has frequently warned against unacceptable Israeli practices, practices which have driven the region into the danger zone."

"Israel is the only party to blame for the deteriorating situation. Nobody gains anything but the loss of peace, security and stability."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

21 Nov 00 | Middle East
Egypt acts against Israel violence
21 Nov 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Egypt's message to Israel
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