Peres, Mubarak discuss direct talks

Both men agree window of opportunity for peace agreement is open.

Peres-Mubarak 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Peres-Mubarak 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
President Shimon Peres met with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Sunday, where the two leaders expressed their support for direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. They both agreed that time was a critical factor in the success of the talks and that neither side should miss the window of opportunity to arrive at an agreement that currently exists.
Peres relayed to Mubarak that both he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu support an immediate move from proximity talks to direct talks that they hope will lead to a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on a two-state solution.
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The president thanked Mubarak on his commitment to peace and his perseverance in staying firm against extremists trying to cause war and destruction in the Middle East.
"Israeli and Egyptian mothers and sons owe you a debt of gratitude," said Peres.
He also thanked Mubarak for his efforts to bring about the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit from his Hamas captors in the Gaza Strip.
The leaders also discussed Iran's nuclear program and the sanctions passed against the Islamic Republic, as well as strengthening strategic ties between Israel and Egypt.
Peres later met with Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.  They discussed the formation of a joint team that will be responsible for finding information on Israeli soldiers who went missing in Egypt during the Yom Kippur War. Peres expressed the hope that the bodies of the missing soldiers could be found and brought to Israel for proper burial.