Hosni Mubarak expects successful US-sponsored Mideast peace conference

Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President, hopes the upcoming U.S.-sponsored Mideast peace conference would succeed. Previously he expressed skepticism about it.

Addressing a joint session of Egypt's two houses of parliament, Mubarak said he hoped that the upcoming Annapolis peace conference would result in the establishment of a Palestinian state, after previously warning that the event could not be just another photo opportunity.

"I am looking forward to the coming peace meeting and sincerely hope that it successfully relaunches serious peace negotiations within a limited time frame to fulfill the hopes of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples ... with a just and durable peace," Mubarak said.

Mubarak and other Arab leaders have criticized the conference in the past for lacking a clear agenda that would eventually lead to a Palestinian state and peace in the region.

It is this lack of peace that is behind the terrorism and instability in the Middle East, added the Egyptian president.

"The growth of terrorism and extremism in our region and in the world reflects increasing feelings of anger and frustration due to the absence of a just peace ... peace is the prime condition for stability and this region will remain a source of crises since peace remains an unattained hope," Mubarak said.

He also noted that "the escalating crisis between the West and Iran had be contained or it could take the whole Gulf region and the Middle East to the brink of an abyss that will bring evil to us, to the region and to the world."