AFP: US Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday as he wrapped up a week-long Middle East visit that he had won support from his Arab hosts for US efforts to stabilize war-torn Iraq. SHANNON, Ireland, May 14, 2007 (AFP) – US Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday as he wrapped up a week-long Middle East visit that he had won support from his Arab hosts for US efforts to stabilize war-torn Iraq.
And Cheney, speaking aboard his Air Force Two airplane after leaving Jordan, also said that it was important to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue but that doing so was not required to get Arab leaders’ help on Iraq.
“I do not think it’s everything or nothing. I do believe there are a number of issues that need to be worked on simultaneously. You don’t get to pick and choose,” the vice president.
“I think these are all important issues, and we need to work on all of them,” said Cheney, whose trip began with a two-day surprise trip to Iraq, then stops in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan.
Asked whether he had won his hosts’ support for US efforts to stabilize Iraq, Cheney replied: “I did.” He declined to offer further details.
At his final stop, the Jordanian resort city of Aqaba, King Abdullah II pressed him during a brief joint public appearance to help move the Arab-Israeli peace process out of its current “stagnation.”
In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak told Cheney that US efforts to curb Iran’s growing regional influence and stabilize Iraq “cannot succeed” unless progres is made on the peace process, a Mubarak spokesman said.
Asked about impressions that his hosts had a different agenda than he did, Cheney replied: “I don’t know why it’s come across that way. If anybody’s talking to you about it, they weren’t in the meetings.”