During his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a map displaying the borders of a future Palestinian state as he envisages it, London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday, quoting a senior Israeli official.
According to the report, Mubarak rejected Netanyahu's proposal. However, the Prime Minister's Office denied the reports, saying they were "unfounded."
The Israeli official told the newspaper that the PM's attitude towards the possibility of a Palestinian state has "changed for the better", but added that Netanyahu's vision does not coincide with the Arab and Palestinian demand to establish such a state within the 1967 borders, with slight border modifications.
The newspaper quoted the official as saying that Mubarak recommended that Netanyahu revise the map in accordance with the Arab demand. The source added that during Sunday's meeting Mubarak tried to get a better grasp of Netanyahu's vision and assess his level of commitment to launching direct talks with the Palestinian Authority.
The meeting lasted over two hours, with the intermittent participation of Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman and Netanyahu aides Uzi Arad and Yitzhak Molcho.
"President Mubarak represents the aspiration to expand the circle of peace and maintain stability and security for all of the region's people. Once again, I find in him a partner for the achievement of these important goals," Netanyahu said after the meeting.
But Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit was less optimistic. He said the conditions for moving to direct peace talks were still "lacking".