Barak to Mubarak: Egypt a central partner in efforts to return Schalit

Returning kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit home from Gaza is one of Israel's paramount goals, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a meeting in Alexandria Tuesday, adding that Israel considers Egypt a central partner in the efforts to return the soldier. According to a statement released by the Defense Ministry, Barak also thanked Mubarak for his efforts to curb weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip, but emphasized, however, that further efforts must be made to locate smuggling tunnels.