BEIRUT: An Egyptian military flight arrived in Beirut Tuesday carrying relief aid and 70 officials and public figures-including Secretary General of the National Democratic Party Gamal Mubarak-who joined the trip to express their support for war-torn Lebanon.
Egypt s ministers of information, health, and industry and foreign trade; the leaders of several minor opposition parties, and top actors departed Cairo for a visit of several hours to deliver medical supplies to Lebanon and visit the wounded at hospitals.
The Egyptian delegation was scheduled to meet Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Prime Minister Fuad Seniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
Gamal Mubarak also heads a charitable foundation, but it was not immediately clear in what capacity he joined Tuesday s relief flight. He told journalists in Cairo before boarding the plane that the trip reflected the Egyptian people s solidarity with the Lebanese people and government.
Another member of the delegation told Al-Jazeera that Egyptians empathized with the Lebanese having faced Israel in several wars.
The (Suez) canal zone was destroyed several times and many of its people fled from Port Said, Ismailiya and Suez, actor Hussein Fahmy said in an interview near the Lebanese presidential palace on the outskirts of Beirut, referring to wars in 1956, 1967 and 1973.
Egypt has sent 90 tons of medical supplies and other aid relief to Lebanon in a joint public and private effort, Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid told journalists in Cairo.
Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries permitted by Israel to land relief flights at Beirut international airport. Israel has imposed an air and sea blockade onLebanon for most of the period since fighting erupted July12 after Hezbollah guerillas captured two Israeli soldiers. AP