Solana arrives in Cairo, holds talk with Mubarak

October 29, 2006 18:47

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana began a visit to Cairo Sunday stressing the importance of a meeting between Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. However, Solana said that achieving progress by returning to the negotiations table depended largely on the success of a prisoner swap in which kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit is set to be released in exchange for a number of Palestinian prisoners. Solana met with Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak to discuss the swap deal and shoring up Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts. Solana's two-day visit rounds off a six-day Middle East tour. Following talks with Mubarak, Solana told reporters he hoped an agreement on a Palestinian coalition government would be reached within the next few days. He also hailed Egypt's decision to beef up security across its borders with Gaza.

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