Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, and Barack Obama, his US counterpart, have been meeting in Washington.

It is the first visit by the Egyptian president to the US in five years.

Obama is trying to break the current deadlock in the Middle East peace process and the leaders were expected to talk about how to convince Israel to freeze settlement building.
 
Mubarak said that Egypt would only become further involved in the process if Israel took "concrete steps".
 
The Egyptian leader has also controversially said that Arab states should develop and normalise relations with Israel.
 
After the meeting, Mubarak praised Obama for his Cairo speech in June, and Obama has expressed his optimism about the future of relations between the two countries.

But can the US and Egypt restart the Middle East peace process? Would Cairo be of any help? And can a new plan have any more chance of succeeding than the numerous previous agreements?

Inside Story presenter Sohail Rahman is joined by Abdullah al-Ashal, a professor of international law at the American University in Cairo and a former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister, Christopher Preble, the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, and Adam Quinn, a lecturer of International Studies at the University of Birmingham and author of the forthcoming book US Foreign Policy in Context.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, August 19, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera