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Speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Cairo



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M37 1 A p r i l 1982

NEWS RELEASE THE HON. TONY STREET, M.P.

U O

SPEECH BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ------------------ ϊ N fcAfRO 31 MARCH 190?

ADDRESS BY THE AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINIS TER , THE HON. TONY STREET MP, AT THE DINNER HOSTED BY THE EGYPTIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ON WEDNESDAY 31 MARCH 1 9 8 2 , CAIRO

THANK YOU, MR. DEPUTY PRIME M IN IS TER , FOR THE WARM AND GENEROUS WELCOME YOU HAVE EXTENDED TO ME, MY WIFE, AND MY PARTY.

EGYPT I S A LAND OF STRUCTURES CLASSIC IN THEIR S IM PL IC IT Y AND MONUMENTAL I N DESIGN. STRUCTURES WHICH CONSTANTLY REMIND US OF THE SCALE AND REACH OF MAN'S ASPIRATIONS THROUGHOUT HIS RECORDED HISTORY.

BEFORE COMING TO CAIRO, I FLEW OVER PART OF A REGION WHICH HAS FEW PHYSICAL MONUMENTS STANDING TO MAN'S HIGHER ACHIEVEMENTS, THE REGION THAT I REFER TO I S THE S I N A I . THAT PLACE, EXCELLENCY, SHOULD NOW BECOME A LIVING REMINDER OF THE COURAGE OF THE SEARCH BY TWO

LEADERS AND TWO NATIONS FOR PEACE, A REAL ACHIEVEMENT IN OUR LIFETIME, AND, WE HOPE FOR OUR SUCCESSORS.

YESTERDAY, I VIS ITE D THE MEN FROM AUSTRALIA WHO ARE HELPING I N THIS RETURN OF THE SI N A I TO EGYPTIAN CONTROL. AUSTRALIANS, I BELIEVE, WILL BECOME PROUD OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION IN THE S IN A I TO THE ACCORDS AND TREATY WHICH PROVIDE THE BASIS FOR PEACE BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL.

IN A SPEECH I MADE A FEW SHORT NIGHTS AGO, EXCELLENCY, I MENTIONED THAT TWICE THIS CENTURY AUSTRALIANS HAVE FOUGHT IN WARS I N THE MIDDLE EAST TO PRESERVE PEACE, AND THAT TWICE TH IS CENTURY AUSTRALIANS HAVE ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THE CAUSE OF AVERTING WAR IN THIS REGION BY HELPING TO MAINTAIN PEACE.

TOMORROW, I WILL V I S I T A PLACE WHERE 40 YEARS AGO MANY AUSTRALIANS GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE FIGHT TO PRESERVE PEACE. OUR COMMITMENT TO PEACE, THEREFORE, I S NOT OF THIS TIME ALONE, I T ' S OF LONG STANDING. OUR PARTICIPATION I N THE S I N A I MULTINATIONAL FORCE AND OBSERVERS I S OUR MOST RECENT EXPRESSION OF THIS COMMITMENT.

MY V I S I T HERE, AND MY V I S I T TO ISRAEL, AND MY DISCUSSIONS WITH YOU, AND YOUR OFFICIALS EARLIER TODAY, HAVE DEEPLY IMPRESSED ME. EGYPT AND ISRAEL HAVE BOTH GRASPED THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED BETWEEN THEM.

AUSTRALIA WILL OPPOSE ANY EFFORTS TO UNDERMINE YOUR PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL. WE ARE ALL IN PRESIDENT MUBARAK'S DEBT FOR H IS COURAGE AND DETERMINATION I N PUSHING FORWARD WITH THE CAMP DAVID ACCORDS.

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I T I S INEVI TABLE THAT I N ANY NEW AND GROWING R E L A T I O N S H I P S , STRAI NS AND STRESSES WILL ARI SE. THEY OF COURSE APPEAR ALSO I N RELATI ONSHI PS OF LONGSTANDING. I N THE LI GHT OF MY TALKS I N I S R A E L , AND MY D I S C U S S I O N S H E R E , I AM CONFIDENT THE SMALLER I SSU ES WILL NOT WEIGH DECI SI VELY AGAINST THE RECOGNISED IMPORTANCE OF MAI NT AI NI NG AND CONSOLI DATI NG THE OVERALL COMMITMENT TO NORMALISATION OF RELATIONS BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL. '

THE TASK YOU HAVE SET I S TOO IMPORTANT TO PERMIT FAI LURE, FOR THE PROCESS YOU ARE «ENGAGED I N MAY WELL ESTABLI SH THE MODEL FOR FUTURE ST ABI L I T Y I N T H I S TROUBLED REGION.

THE RETURN OF THE S I N A I TO EGYPTIAN CONTROL MUST ONLY BE REGARDED AS ONE STEP I N T H I S PROCESS OF CONFIDENCE B U I L D I N G .

FOR AS I HAVE ALREADY S A I D , I F I T I S AN ESSENTIAL TRUTH THAT THE ONLY PATH FOR PEACE I N THE MIDDLE EAST L I ES I N ACCEPTING I S R A E L ' S RI GHT TO E X I S T , I T I S EQUALLY TRUE THAT THE SAME PATH MUST TRAVERSE THE REALITY OF PALESTI NI AN A SPI R A T I O N S.

WE WILL NOT RECOGNISE THE PLO WHILE I T REFUSES TO RECOGNISE I S R A E L ' S RI GHT TO E X I S T . SUCH AN ACT ON THEI R PART WOULD REPRESENT A MAJOR STEP TOWARDS THE SEARCH FOR PEACE.

I T HAS LONG BEEN AUSTRALIAN POLICY THAT THE LEGITIMATE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTI NI AN PEOPLE INCLUDE A HOMELAND ALONGSIDE ISRAEL .

AND THAT THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO PARTI CI PATE DIRECTLY I N D E C I SI ON S

AFFECTING THEI R FUTURE.

WE RECOGNISE THAT REASSURANCES ARE NEEDED TO ALLAY ANXI ETI ES ASSOCIATED WITH THE R I S K S WHICH ARE TAKEN FOR PEACE, BUT WE FEAR THAT A FAILURE TO MOVE FORWARDS TOWARDS A SOLUTI ON WHICH MEETS THE A SPI R A T I O N S OF THE PALESTI NI ANS HAS EVEN GREATER R I S K S .

OUR RELATIONS I N THE RECENT PAST, HAVE LARGELY BEEN TRADE AND COMMERCIALLY BASED. I HOPE THAT MY V I S I T WILL LAY THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A BROADER POLI TI CAL ELEMENT I N OUR RELATI ONSHI PS. I N A D D I T I ON TO YOUR CENTRAL IMPORTANCE I N THE MIDDLE EAST, EGYPT IS, A LEADER I N THE NON-ALI GNED MOVEMENT, YOUR CREDENTIALS WI T HI N THE T HI R D WORLD ARE WELL ESTABLI SHED, AND WE ALSO RECOGNISE THE IMPORTANCE YOU ATTACH TO YOUR RELATIONS WI T H I N AFRICA.

AUSTRALI A, I N I T S OWN R I G H T , PARTICULARLY THROUGH I T S COMMONWEALTH AND REGIONAL A S S O C I A T I O N S , ALSO HAS STRONG LI NKS WITH THE T HI R D WORLD AND I BELIEVE WE WOULD HAVE MUCH TO GAIN FROM GREATER CO- OPERATI ON I N T H I S AREA.

MR. DEPUTY PRIME M I N I S T E R , I HOPE THAT MY V I S I T WILL ADD TO THE LONGSTANDING BONDS BETWEEN OUR.TWO COUNTRI ES.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR WARM WELCOME AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU I N TURN TO AUSTRALIA.