Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, captured by Palestinian terrorists last June is still alive, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during his visit to Israel Wednesday.
In a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Aboul Gheit said Egypt is working to win the release of Shalit "We are working to release him and we know that he's alive," Aboul Gheit told the news conference.
Aboul Gheit said he could not guarantee Shalit's release. "This is a very sensitive issue and we have to treat it with very serious sensitivity," He said.
"I hope and believe that he will be released ... But I emphasize that we are working hard for his release and we are sure that he is still alive."
Earlier Wednesday, the Egyptian official met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Aboul Gheit expressed his country's appreciation of Israel's policy of restraint and efforts to empower moderates in the Palestinian Authority, Olmert's office said in a statement issued following the meeting held between the two leaders.
According to the statement Olmert and Aboul Gheit spoke of the continuous ceasefire breaches and their implications. The PM explained the complexity of the situation due to incessant rocket attacks against Israel throughout the ceasefire and Israel's need to preserve the lives of its citizens.
The two also spoke of Olmert's upcoming meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and general Mideast developments. Olmert also stressed the importance of preventing arms smuggling across the Egypt-Gaza border.
Associated Press contributed to the report