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Just ‘Ink on Paper,’ Mubarak Says in Criticizing Arab Defense Pact

From Reuters

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, visiting Kuwait on a Persian Gulf tour marking Egypt’s return to the Arab fold, criticized a joint Arab defense pact as no more than “ink on paper” and praised Syria for its efforts in trying to end the Iran-Iraq War.

Mubarak, who flew on to Qatar on Tuesday, told a news conference here late Monday that he welcomed Syria’s mediation bid with non-Arab Iran.

Gulf officials have raised the prospect of invoking the 1950 Arab defense pact, which provides for Arab states to help each other if attacked.

Mubarak, who has already made it clear that Egypt was ready to provide all possible military aid to Arab friends in the region, appeared to dismiss the pact as outdated.

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He said Arab states have not honored their commitments under the pact, which he said is now “considered ink on paper.”

Contrasting Egypt’s military supplies sent to Iraq with aid by other Arab states to Iran, he asked: “Why don’t you ask those states that supplied Iran with weapons and missiles for its war against Iraq? Are those states committed to the Arab defense pact?”

Mubarak said Cairo is committed to the security of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.


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