Photo: AFP
'The goal is to change the situation in the Middle East.' Olmert (L) and Mubarak
Photo: AFP
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Prime Minister Olmert meets Mubarak for the first time
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Photo: AP
Egyptian President Mubarak: Attaches importance to meeting
Photo: AP

Mubarak to PM: We'll advance peace together

Egyptian president says Sharm summit presents opportunity to advance peace; Olmert apologizes for border incident in which two Egyptian officers were shot dead; 'I see in you Mr. President a real partner to bring peace to our region,' PM says

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologized at the start of a press conference with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Sunday over the incident in which two Egyptians security officers were killed on the Israel-Egypt border.


"In the name of the State of Israel, I would like to express my deep sorrow over the incident. A joint investigation will… make every effort to prevent such an incident from taking place in the future," he said.


Olmert continued: “I see in you Mr. President a real partner to bring peace to our region. I plan on consulting you and working closely with you in order to advance the peace process. Your contribution is essential, as it was during the successful maneuver of the disengagement plan. I am pleased with the cooperation between the countries on global terror.”


Mubarak said the summit presents an opportunity to advance peace.


"We hope to work together with Olmert for advancing peace," he said.


“The goal is to change the situation in the Middle East and direct it toward peace and security through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. We discussed our joint vision of the Middle East.”


The two leaders met at the presidential estate in Sharm el-Sheikh.


Olmert was greeted by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and south Sinai Governor Hani Mutwalli.


Olmert (L) and Mubarak during Sharm meeting (Photo: AFP) 


Olmert added that Israel wishes to exhaust all the options for advancing a channel of communication with the Palestinians, adding that he plans to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.


“Our first priority is always negotiations based on the Road Map and the Quartet’s decision,” he said.


Mubarak concluded by saying that Hamas should not be pressured, but refused to elaborate on the Iranian nuclear crisis.


“Iran is a lengthy process that requires diplomacy and convincing,” he said.


Prior to the meeting both states announced their willingness to launch a joint investigation into the killing of the two Egyptian police officers over the weekend on the border between the two countries.


Egyptian minister Mufid Shehab told the parliament in Cairo that the joint investigation committee will attempt to verify whether the two police officers crossed the border and entered Israeli territory, as the IDF says. The incident has hovered over the meeting and has cast a dark shadow over the proceedings.


A spokesman from the Prime Minister's Office, Raanan Gissin, said: "This was an unfortunate incident, and a joint investigation will attempt, in the next few days, to verify how it took place. I am sure that the sides will learn lessons to ensure a similar incident does not take place." 


פרסום ראשון: 06.04.06, 19:14
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