A credible political source in Israel claims that Israel’s Prime Minister has asked Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak, to persuade the Palestinian Authority to take a “flexible position” in the forthcoming peace negotiations.
According to a statement on Israeli radio, during his meeting with Mr. Mubarak in Sharm El-Sheikh this week, Benjamin Netanyahu stressed his “seriousness” about the peace process. “The slow walk process is not procrastination by Netanyahu,” said the source, “but a kind of caution which is necessary to ensure the stability of his government and to mobilize support from the Israeli right-wing.”
Israel’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, remarked on the “vital” role played by the Egyptian side in getting the Middle East peace talks revived. Mr. Netanyahu discussed many things with Mr. Mubarak during his visit, he said, including the issue of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas in Gaza.