of Egypt Addresses Al-Hewar Center Audience
'There Must be more "Cultural Understanding and Cooperation" Between U.S. and Egypt'
Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S. Nabil I. Fahmy called for promoting more "cultural understanding and cooperation" between Egyptian and U.S. societies. He said that the "biggest lesson" learned from the plunge of Egypt Air Flight 900 into the Atlantic in November is that "there is not enough understanding of the Egyptian society in the U.S. nor enough understanding of the American society in the Egyptian arena."
He explained that the fact that some analysts hastily built upon a religious phrase uttered by the assistant pilot to conclude the cause of the crash "reflected a misunderstanding of the Egyptian society -- our traditions, religion, and Egyptian culture in general," though the two countries are politically close.
In his remarks at Al-Hewar Center on January 19, 2000, Ambassador Fahmy affirmed that Egyptian-U.S relations are "in a very good condition and prominent." He called for emphasizing the "importance" of the relations to the people in both countries, and for developing those relations by "building on points of agreement and holding a dialogue on points of disagreement." He expressed his "great optimism" towards achieving a comprehensive Middle East peace during his term in Washington, DC. However he said that his optimism is "not absolute," and called on the parties concerned, the U.S, and the effective parties in the international arena to work for a quick political implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) principles in the Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian arenas.
Ambassador Fahmy affirmed that "Israeli settlement activity and its expansion is a dangerous issue, and, in my opinion, substantially contradicts progress on the Palestinian track." He warned that "if decisive decisions are not taken, and the matter is left too late, then the door will be open for conflicts between Middle East societies, and particularly between Israeli and Palestinian societies."
This report was prepared by U.S. Report on the Middle East, an online newspaper found at http://www.usrom.com
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