Egyptian President to Meet Israeli Defense Minister on Wednesday
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will meet Wednesday morning with Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer in Sharm al Sheikh. Ben Eliezer will travel to Egypt at the invitation of the President, according to Haaretz.
The Israeli Defense Minister's office said that the two are due to discuss the security problems between Israel and the Palestinians. The possibility of such talks between the two was first raised a few weeks ago, during a meeting between President Mubarak and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Cairo. However, the meeting was postponed, due to the escalation in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
The two will discuss diplomatic and security issues, mainly regarding the growing tension in the Palestinian territories. The meeting now is also seen as an attempt by the Egyptians to help mediate a ceasefire, reported The Jerusalem Post.
"This is a very important visit because Egypt is the key state in the region, certainly when it comes to the Palestinian issue," said an Israeli defense official.
This meeting comes following a visit to Cairo by Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's political adviser Danny Ayalon this week. Israel’s Minister without Portfolio Tzipi Livni is to go to Egypt on Thursday.
Ahmed Maher, the Egyptian foreign minister, commented Monday on the visit of Ayalon to Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's political advisor Osama al-Baz. According to him, this visit was an attempt "to clarify the Israeli position to make them act on their good intentions." "Words are easy, but we ask them to prove their good intention with precise steps," Maher said.
Following the meeting, Ben-Eliezer will continue on to visit Washington. (Albawaba.com)
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