Mubarak, who visited the United States last week, told Tuesday's issue of French newspaper Le Monde that Washington's actions had caused despair, frustration and a sense of injustice in the Arab world.

   

"Today there is hatred of the Americans like never before in the region," he said in an interview given during a stay in France, where he met President Jacques Chirac on Monday.

   

He blamed the hostility partly on US support for Israel, which assassinated Hamas leader Abd Al-Aziz al-Rantisi in a missile strike in the Gaza Strip on Saturday weeks after killing the Palestinian group's spiritual leader Shaikh Ahmad Yasin.

 

Unprecedented

   

"At the start some considered the Americans were helping them. There was no hatred of the Americans. After what has happened in Iraq, there is unprecedented hatred and the Americans know it," Mubarak said.

 

"Today there is hatred of the Americans like never before in the region"

Husni Mubarak,
President, Egypt

"People have a feeling of injustice. What's more, they see (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon acting as he pleases, without the Americans saying anything. He assassinates people who don't have the planes and helicopters that he has."

  

Mubarak said the assassination of al-Rantisi could have "serious consequences" and that instability in Gaza and Iraq would not serve US or Israeli interests.

   

"The despair and feeling of injustice are not going to be limited to our region alone. American and Israeli interests will not be safe, not only in our region but anywhere in the world," he said.

   

Asked about Sharon's plan to pull out of Gaza, Mubarak welcomed any withdrawal that was agreed with the Palestinians and in line with a peace "road map" drawn up by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.