Israel's ultranationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met a visiting senior Egyptian official on Wednesday, Israel's Channel One television said late Wednesday. The meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, which was not publicly announced, signalled a possible softening in Cairo's stated refusal to deal with Lieberman over comments he has made that were perceived as anti-Egyptian. In the past, Lieberman Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak "can go to hell" for his refusal to visit in Israel.
Earlier Wednesday, Lieberman said his opposition to the Arab peace initiative stemmed from its demand for a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees to Israel proper. "The clause on the right of return cannot be agreed to," he declared at a cabinet meeting on the government's diplomatic policy.
"This is a subject upon which there is wide agreement in the government and in the public as well."