Blair meets with Mubarak

March 7, 2004 at 8:08 PM

LONDON, March 7 (UPI) -- Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Saturday ahead of Blair's meeting with the new Palestinian prime minister.

The talks at Blair's country residence Chequers focused on internal impetus for reform within the region, as well as engagement with partners from outside the area, a Downing Street spokesman told the Liverpool Echo.

Blair is scheduled to meet this week with the new Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. Blair is expected to urge Qurei to take steps to revive the stalled Middle East peace process.

For Mubarak, it was his first visit to the United Kingdom since June of 2002. Mubarak an Blair spoke one-on-one, with no officials present.

Egypt, a key ally of the Britain in the Middle East, was one of the first Muslim countries to pledge support for the international fight against terrorism following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

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