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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 403-02
August 01, 2002

JOINT STATEMENT ON MULTINATIONAL FORCE AND OBSERVERS

At the invitation of the United States, representatives of the governments of Israel and Egypt, and with the participation of the director general of the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO), conducted trilateral consultations on the structure and composition of the MFO.

The delegations were headed by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, Maj. Gen. Abou Bakr of Egypt, and retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron of Israel.

The three sides agree upon the historic and vital role played by the MFO since the establishment of peace between Egypt and Israel and express appreciation for the contributions made by all participants in the MFO, especially the U.S. Army.

The United States reaffirms - and Egypt and Israel acknowledge - its commitment to continued support for Egyptian-Israeli peace, and for the MFO as a force contributing to the broad objectives of enhancing and sustaining regional security and stability. All sides agree upon the need to ensure that the MFO continues to carry out its mission in the most efficient manner possible.

In this regard, the sides agree to conduct further, expert-level discussions to determine how best to maintain the effectiveness of the MFO, while rationalizing the participation of United States forces. Both Egypt and Israel express their understanding of the competing requirements faced by United States forces around the world, especially in light of the war on terror.

The governments of Egypt and Israel express their appreciation to the United States for the opportunity to conduct these highly constructive consultations.