Israel and Egypt are "very close" to an agreement allowing the latter to move more troops into the border area to stop smugglers moving weapons into the Gaza Strip, Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said on Monday.
The agreement would not require amendments to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979, which limits the type of forces Egypt can deploy on the border, the Israeli minister told a news conference after talks with Egyptian presidential adviser, Osama Al Baz.
"We are now very close to implementing this understanding between Israel and Egypt that will allow them to have more than 100 troops, more than 100 soldiers, that will be in the Egyptian part of the border," Shalom conveyed.
But Al Baz told reporters: "It's not a matter of us doing anything particular for the sake of Israel.
"We have a particular vision for the role that Egypt can play to improve the situation...in the Palestinian territories," he added.
Shalom traveled to Egypt to see President Hosni Mubarak after the Israeli cabinet approved on Sunday a plan for Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
Shalom also discussed Monday the security reforms the Egyptians are demanding from the Palestinian Authority, Haaretz reported. (Albawaba.com)
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