Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, arrived in Majorca last night after having held talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and King Juan Carlos of Spain in Madrid. Mubarak is the guest of honour at the Formentor Euro-Mediterranean Forum summit which opens in the north of Majorca today and will also be attended by Israel's Shimon Peres and the President of Palestine Yasser Arafat. Prior to Mubarak's departure from Cairo for Spain, the Egyptian government made it clear that he would only come to Majorca if progress could be made in the Middle East peace process - his arrival can be taken as a positive indication that some progress is expected to be made in Majorca over the next few days. Mubarak will be giving the opening address at the Formentor meeting this afternoon and is expected to push ahead with his calls for an international anti-terrorism summit in Egypt, peace in the Middle East and the current conflict in Afghanistan. Yesterday Mubarak said in Madrid that he hoped the United States-led bombing of Afghanistan would end before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts in mid-November. I hope with all my heart that the campaign is halted before Ramadan starts. Mubarak and Aznar, who will be flying to Majorca today ahead of the forum, gave a joint press conference after holding talks together. Asked how sensible it would be to continue the bombing of Afghanistan during Ramadan given Islamic sensitivities, Mubarak said: I hope this campaign ends before Ramadan, but in military operations we can't guarantee what the situation is on the ground and whether these operations can be stopped in a way that would (not) benefit the other side. Aznar also said he hoped the campaign would be over quickly, but added that it was important to remember that the main goal was to eradicate terrorism.
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