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Egypt Limits Diplomatic Contacts With Israel

Aired April 3, 2002 - 10:32   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Check in on breaking news coming out of Cairo, and that is that Egypt has cut off some -- is suspending some contact with Israel. We want to bring back the guests we were talking with before the break, and that is former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Nicholas Veliotes. Thanks for sticking with us here.

We were talking about this right before the break. Now we want to continue that discussion. You said before the break that you are not surprised that this has taken place.

NICHOLAS VELIOTES, FMR. U.S. AMB. TO EGYPT: No, I'm sure it will be some minimal step. But it will be a step.

KAGAN: You say there's a minimal step. It seems incredibly symbolic.

VELIOTES: Well, first, what arrangements are being cut off?

KAGAN: That's exactly what we are trying to figure out.

VELIOTES: They've already withdrawn their ambassador.

KAGAN: That's already taken place.

VELIOTES: That took place. They did that before, when Sharon was Bombarding Lebanon in 1992. So there is a precedent here for taking such an action.

KAGAN: Do you expect other Arab states to follow suit?

VELIOTES: Well, I believe the Jordanian ambassador has already been withdrawn. Those are the only two countries that have made peace with Israel. I think it would be hard for Jordan not to follow suit, depending on what the Egyptians have done, and I don't know what that is.

KAGAN: We will continue to follow-up on it, and as there's more developments, we expect you be will check a here at CNN.

Mr. Ambassador, thank you for joining us today.

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