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President of Egypt and President Clinton Meet, Discuss Middle East Peace Talks

Aired March 28, 2000 - 1:10 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The president of Egypt is talking about his neighbors today at the White House: the Israelis, the Syrians and the Palestinians. Hosni Mubarak and President Clinton are trying to figure out how to help Israel reach a peace agreement with Syria and implement the agreement it has with Palestinians.

Following all this closely from her post at the State Department, CNN's Andrea Koppel.

Andrea, what's the story today?

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, White House officials say President Clinton is looking for President Mubarak to offer insights and ideas as to how to move the Middle East peace process forward. Before last weekend's summit between President Clinton and Syria's president, Mr. Mubarak said he spoke with both Israel's prime minister and with Syria's president and expressed optimism that a deal was in reach.

Now that the summit is over, he says he's still optimistic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOSNI MUBARAK, PRESIDENT OF EGYPT: Concerning the Geneva meeting, I cannot say that's a failure. It's a step forward for both -- no progress between the Israelis and the Syrians. That doesn't make us pessimistic.

We have to make much more effort so as to reach peace and an agreement could be signed for the welfare of the whole area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOPPEL: That optimism, however, is not shared by the other principals involved in the Israeli-Syrian peace process. For his part, Mr. Clinton says the ball is in the Syrian court. After his meetings here at the White House, Mr. Mubarak is going to cross the street to Blair House, where he also will have meetings with other senior U.S. officials about U.S.-Egyptian relations.

Reporting live, I'm Andrea Koppel, CNN, at the White House.

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