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A leading daily Egyptian newspaper has accused the Palestinian
Authority of “ingratitude” for failing to appreciate Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak’s efforts on behalf of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat in
negotiations with Israel and the West aimed at defusing ongoing
Arab-Israeli violence.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

The criticism, Mideast analysts said, further underscores the
“cooling trend” in relations between the Palestinian Authority and
Egypt.

The editor of newspaper Al Gumhuria, Samir Ragab, wrote that Mubarak
was leader of the group of Arab statesman who “boldly supported the
Al-Aqsa intifada.”

Ragab, known to have close ties to the Egyptian president, said in
his article that Mubarak had made “sacrifices to provide shelter to
Palestinians … to help them, to defend them from killings and
massacres, and to fight for their rights.”

Donkey painted with the Star of David and the names of Barak
and Mubarak wanders among soldiers and Palestinian rioters during
violent outbreak this week in Bethlehem.

“Although it would be expected that the Palestinians, all of their
organizations and sub-groups, would at the very least offer a prayer to
give thanks to Almighty Allah who has provided the Arab people with a
leader such as Hosni Mubarak, a man who has devoted his whole life to
the Arab cause,” the Palestinians have turned their backs on Egypt’s
leader, the Al Gumhuria editor wrote.

Ragab’s editorial, analysts said, is Egypt’s first public display of
angst with Arafat.

“Regrettably, the Palestinians have shed their robes of morality and
loyalty and started to attack Egypt and its leader in loathsome, foul
ways, claiming that [Mubarak] put pressure on Arafat during the Sharm
el-Sheikh summit,” the editor said.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak addressing members of the
Cairo Summit last weekend.

Reports said Mubarak was upset that, at an Egyptian-hosted Arab
summit earlier this week, Arafat and other Arab leaders took a harsh
anti-Israel approach, which was contrary to the Egyptian president’s
wishes. Mubarak, reports said, was seeking a more conciliatory approach
that would produce some sort of agreement to end the current cycle of
violence in Gaza and the West Bank.

Egypt was the first Arab nation to sign a permanent peace agreement
with Israel. In 1979, the Carter administration facilitated the historic
agreement during talks at Camp David, Md.

Analysts said Mubarak’s growing displeasure with Arafat was seen even
before this week’s summit. The Egyptian president, reports said, did not
even travel to Cairo to meet Arafat’s plane when it landed.

Related story:


Arafat won’t go to D.C.

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