Report: Egypt's Intelligence Chief Held Secret Talks in Israel
The head of Egypt’s intelligence department, Omar Sulaiman, visited Israel Wednesday for talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, according to Israeli media reports.
Haaretz newspaper said that Sharon and Ben-Eliezer told their Egyptian guest that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was not honoring the ceasefire agreement, and that since it was announced four weeks ago, there had been some 400 Palestinian attacks against Israeli targets.
Suleiman's visit, according to the paper, stemmed from an agreement between Sharon and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to keep in contact via the heads of their respective intelligence services - in Israel's case, Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy.
Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel shortly after the outbreak of the Intifada last September.
The two intelligence chiefs have already exchanged several visits, said the paper.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres will fly to Cairo on Sunday to meet with Mubarak and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, said reports.
The three will discuss ways to shore up the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire and move forward with implementation of the Mitchell report's recommendations.
Sharon and Peres also met Wednesday to coordinate their positions.
In recent interviews with the Italian press, Sharon praised Peres as "the best expositor of the government's position that we will not negotiate under fire," said Haaretz.
If diplomatic negotiations ever resume, differences might emerge between them, he continued, "but today there is understanding."
The interviews were a prelude to Sharon's first trip to Italy, which begins today.
In addition to meeting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and other Italian officials, Sharon will also meet with the heads of the local Jewish community, the paper added – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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