Photo: AP
Mubarak and Merkel
Photo: AP
Photo: Noam Rotem
Gilad Shalit
Photo: Noam Rotem

Mubarak says peace process depends on Shalit's release

Egyptian president says stalled Mideast peace negotiations depend on release of Israeli captive and on resolving Palestinian internal conflict. Mubarak states Egypt making efforts to 'seal crack' between Fatah, Hamas

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday said the stalled Mideast peace process depended on the release of an Israeli solider, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was captured by gunmen in Gaza and resolving the violent conflict between rival Palestinian factions.


Mubarak said Egypt was working to "seal the crack" Between Hamas and Fatah who have been fighting for control of the Palestinian government since Hamas ousted its rival from power last year.


But the Egyptian leader stressed that a deal also must be brokered to secure the release of Shalit, who was captured in June.


"It all depends on the soldier that was detained by the Palestinians, and at the same time the Palestinians are demanding the release of their detainees. We are working on this line, and we hope that we reach a solution soon," Mubarak said during a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angel Merkel.


Mubarak failed to refer to reports earlier that Egypt charged four people, one Egyptian citizen and three Israelis, with spying for Israel.


High State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawi said Saturday the Egyptian, Mohamed Essam Ghoneim el-Attar, 31, had been arrested and charged, but the rest of the spy ring were in Turkey and Canada, although arrest warrants had been issued for them.


Israeli security sources in Jerusalem said they knew nothing of the matter.


The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that at this point, details are being verified and there is no information other than what has been published in the media.


פרסום ראשון: 02.03.07, 21:05
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