'German mediator in Egypt for Schalit deal talks'

Gerhard Konrad secretly visits Cairo to meet Egyptian defense officials to advance negotiations for release of captive soldier, DPA reports.

October 3, 2011 19:18
Captured soldier Gilad Schalit in video

Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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A German official secretly visited Cairo on Monday in an effort to reach a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, DPA reported.

According to the report, the official was mediator Gerhard Konrad who will hold a series of talks with Egyptian defense officials to advance the negotiations.

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In June, the deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, told London-based al-Hayat that his organization would not work with Konrad again after he failed to secure a prisoner exchange agreement.

The last time talks broke down with the German mediator, Abu Marzouk said that while Konrad's role in the negotiations had ended, Hamas would "not oppose his return if the Israeli government wants it."

Marzouk said in the most recent interview with al-Hayat that Konrad adopted the position of the Israeli government in negotiations over the prisoner swap, describing the German mediator's offer as "radical and unfair."

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