About Us Egypt

Statement by H.E. Mr. Hamdi Zakzuk 

Minister of Al-Awqaf of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Your Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev,

Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour and privilege for me to represent President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in this distinguished forum that convenes here today to celebrate the first CICA Summit. His Excellency President Mubarak was looking forward to being here with us had it not been for pressing engagements related to the dangerous situation in the region resulting from Israeli practices against the Palestinian people that you are all aware of.

President Mubarak has asked me to convey unto you his heartfelt friendly regards and best wishes for success. I would like to express on behalf of the delegation of Egypt and myself, our appreciation for the government of Kazakhstan for its warm reception and its kind hospitality.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This summit is a historic occasion for it is the culmination of ten years of dedicated efforts of me mber states to give birth to the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. This initiative has gathered special importance and has become a landmark in our quest for establishing a new security structure in Asia.

Today we initiate an important phase in our interaction and confidence building. The «Almaty Act» constitutes a framework for constructive dialogue and distinguished diplomatic practice, which re fleets the good will and intention on behalf of the members for a stable and more secure Asia,as well as economic cooperation for the welfare of our peoples. It is our duty today to confirm our resolve to pursue our joint constructive efforts to achieve the declared objectives of the Declaration on the Principles guiding Relations among the Member States of CICA which the members have signed here in Almaty in 1999.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Egypt has continued to express its firm commitment to the enhancement and spread of peace and stability regionally and globally. Egypt has initiated the Peace Process in the Middle East and has offered, and is still offering, much for the continuation and the success of all efforts aimed at establishing a just peace in the region and avoiding further bloodshed violence and instability. This kind of atmosphere undermines the ongoing efforts exerted by international and regional powers throughout the last twenty five years to establish peace and security in the region.

Peace in the Middle East will never be realized unless it is based on the foundations of justice and legitimacy. The conducive atmosphere for peace in the region will never materialize unless there is a full withdrawal from the Arab occupied territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations. It is only through establishing such an atmosphere that all states can live peacefully inside their borders and pursue their objectives for the progress and development for their peoples and the world at large.

As we pursue our aims inside CICA for enhancing cooperation amongst us, there seems to be a chance for further progress in our attempts to achieve the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons which is a matter of high priority on our agenda. To this end, all states should be encouraged to contribute to this objective. While encouraging all states to work towards this objective, we reiterate the importance of achieving the universality of adherence to the multilateral treaties in this regard, particularly the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to urge those states that have not yet adhered, to do so at the earliest possible date.

Egypt is convinced that the creation of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is a prerequisite for enhancing the security in that region, in Asia and the world. To this end, President Mubarak has called in 1990, and continues to call for the creation of such a zone.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While the world continues to confront traditional threats to security, we are unfortunately witnessing an emerging threat posed by cross-border terrorism. In this regard, President Mubarak has warned that the arts of terror which Egypt was subjected to some years ago, were a global phenomenon, and he urged for the convening of an international conference to address this issue. Now after September 11th attacks on New York and Washington, this fact has been further emphasized and demonstrated to the whole world, and that no state is immuned from the scourge of terrorism and that combating terrorism requires a collective effort from all members of the international community.

Terrorism and extremism have no religion nor nationality, for such criminal activities can not be attributed to any particular civilization. Egypt is therefore determined to contribute, within the context of international legitimacy and international law, to the efforts aimed at preserving our common human values. In this regard there is no doubt that the «Almaty Act» and the Declaration on Combating Terrorism within the context of the Dialogue Among Civilizations represent two fundamental documents for cooperation between the member states of CICA in various fields including that of combating terrorism. However, much re mains to be done in order to unify our efforts. But as we do so, we must not be confused, for there is a distinction between terrorism as an unforgivable crime on the one hand, and the right of the peoples to resist foreign occupation in the process of liberating their land in accordance with the Charter and resolutions of the United Nations.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The variation in national character, belief, custom and culture among the Asian states is not a factor of separation between them,but it is a way of enriching our relations. Egypt is ready to play the role it has played throughout history as a bridge between different continents and cultures aiming at continuity and interaction while preserving the national identity. It is our firm belief that the CICA has a role to play in enhancing cultural interaction and dialogue between civilizations with the aim of mutual respect and tolerance among peoples.

Thank You.