Egypt seeks stronger Israel ties

Dec. 10, 2003 at 8:48 AM

CAIRO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in Geneva, his first meeting with an Israeli minister in more than a year.

Ron Prosor, head of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's political desk, suggested Wednesday's meeting, the first since August 2002, could result in the exchange of embassies between the two countries, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Mubarak encouraged Israel to create an atmosphere that would enhance the possibility for improving diplomatic relations with the Palestinians. The meeting, which precedes an anticipated trip by Mubarak to Washington, occurred during talks in Cairo aimed at clearing up issues preventing a cease-fire between all Palestinian factions and Israel.

In speaking of the peace agreement that exists between Egypt and Israel, Mubarak said: "I am committed to it personally. I want the citizens of Israel to know that Egypt wants to strengthen its ties to Israel. My word is my bond."

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