Mubarak and Barak discuss Middle East peace process
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived in Cairo Sunday morning to discuss US-backed efforts to revive the Middle East peace process with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The official MENA news agency reported that the two discussed “efforts to revive the peace process in the Middle East, the situation in the Palestinian territories and efforts by Egypt to kick start serious negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.” Barak also reportedly discussed that status of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held captive in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for three years now.
An Israeli official said Barak’s visit intended to find ways to continue peace talks, following Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent Tel Aviv speech and Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo. Another Israeli official told AFP that before leaving Cairo, Barak planned on meeting with intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s chief mediator between Israel and Hamas, and Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi.