Remarks of President Reagan and President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt Following Their Meetings

September 30, 1983

President Reagan. President Mubarak and I have concluded another of our regular consultations on regional and bilateral issues. Our discussions were warm and frank, as discussions between good and trusting friends should be. They strengthen our sense of common purpose in working for regional peace and security.

There was basic agreement on the critical issues our nations face in the Middle East and Africa. We discussed the urgent need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace for the Middle East which would permit the nations there, all the states in the region, to live in peace while safeguarding the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. In that regard, I reiterated my commitment to the peace initiative that we announced a little more than a year ago and my desire to work closely with President Mubarak to bring the parties to negotiation. Our policy remains firmly based on U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the Camp David accords.

We reviewed the situation in Lebanon, and I thank the President for Egypt's support of Ambassador McFarlane's efforts to produce a settlement there, and assured him of my determination to support the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Lebanon. To that end, there must be an enduring cease-fire, political reconciliation, and the prompt withdrawal of all foreign forces.

In discussing Africa, we agreed on the need to support nations such as Chad which are subject to external threat.

On bilateral questions, I reiterated the information -- or the importance that I attach to our continued assistance to Egypt and to our strategic cooperation. I've assured the President that our assistance will be responsive to Egypt's needs. And I also reviewed steps that we've taken to increase the flexibility of our economic assistance so that it can support President Mubarak's efforts to reform the Egyptian economy. We agree that we should continue our dialog on economic issues.

President Mubarak's visit, the third since he was elected to office, highlights the special nature of our relationship with Egypt and the importance that I attach to his personal friendship and wise counsel. Our two countries share a common dedication to building a Middle East that is peaceful, prosperous, and secure from outside intervention. The Egyptian-American partnership has already produced significant results, and we'll continue to build on our record of accomplishment.

Mr. President, it's a pleasure again, as always, to have you here.

President Mubarak. Thank you. It's a great pleasure for me to meet again with my friend President Reagan and discuss with him several issues of common concern.

As we share the commitment to the cause of peace, we focus on the situation in the Middle East. We both rejoiced in the cease-fire agreement recently reached in Lebanon. The cease-fire must continue so that efforts to bring about national reconciliation in Lebanon be given the chance to succeed, and succeed they must. Lebanon has seen much bloodshed and destruction, and it deserves a lasting peace and stability and the real opportunity to reconstruct the country. The key to our breakthrough is the complete withdrawal of Israeli and other foreign forces. The authority of the Lebanese leadership over the entire country must be consolidated. Short of this, the situation would remain tense and explosive.

At the same time, we must not neglect the Palestinian problem. In this regard, I welcome President Reagan's assurances that he remains committed to the peace initiative of the 1st of September, 1982. The time has come to reactivate this initiative with a view to secure the participation of Jordan and the representatives of the Palestinian people in the negotiations. I am confident that through negotiations Palestinian legitimate rights will be fully recognized, and peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors will emerge, assuring for each the right to live within secure and recognized borders and thus allowing the region to devote its energies to development and progress.

President Reagan and I have also agreed on the necessity to put an end to the war between Iran and Iraq immediately. The promulgation of the meaningless war is detrimental to the interests of all nations. We call upon Iran to respond positively to Iraq's offer of terminating the war and entering into a peace negotiation without preconditions.

We also discussed current African problems. We fully support the Government of Chad and uphold the presence of foreign occupation forces there. The territorial integrity of Chad must be preserved. We support the efforts of the Organization of African Unity in this regard.

On bilateral matters, President Reagan and I are fully satisfied with our cooperation in all fields. We share the determination to bolster our fraternal ties and cement our friendship each day.

As always, I have found President Reagan most gracious and responsive. I thank him and the American people for their understanding and constructive spirit.

Thank you.

Note: President Reagan spoke at 1:15 p.m. in the East Room at the White House.

Earlier, the two Presidents met in the Oval Office and then held an expanded meeting, together with their advisers, in the Cabinet Room. Following the meetings, the U.S. and Egyptian officials attended a luncheon in the State Dining Room.