PM, Mubarak discuss peace talks

PMO says meeting constructive, took place in good atmosphere.

Netanyahu Mubarak 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Netanyahu Mubarak 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has briefed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on plans to resume Mideast peace talks in the coming days.
A statement by Netanyahu's office gave few details about Monday's 90-minute meeting in Sharm e-Sheikh, merely stating that the talks were constructive and took place in a good atmosphere.
In the fourth meeting between the two leaders since Netanyahu took office in March 2009, they also spoke about other regional and bilateral issues.  
National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and National Security Council head Uzi Arad joined the prime minister on his trip, and held meetings with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The subject of captured soldier Gilad Schalit was among the issues on the agenda.
Ben-Eliezer said the Israeli delegation received a "most impressive" reception, and that he was convinced Egypt would make a positive contribution to the peace process, according to Israel Radio. 
Mitchell due to return ahead of proximity talks
US special envoy George Mitchell is due to return to the region Monday to start the Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the Arab League in Cairo cautiously endorsed the proximity talks. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas now needs to seek the approval of the PLO Executive Committee.
In light of the Arab League vote, it is expected that the PLO would also back the proximity talks when it convenes this week.
A diplomatic source said that Mitchell was heading to the region with the full expectation that proximity talks would get under way. He is expected to meet with Netanyahu and Abbas during his stay, but no dates for the meetings have been set.
In advance of the talks Israel has said it would be willing to discuss all core issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, borders, a demilitarized Palestinian state and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. It cautioned, though, that these issues could be resolved only through direct negotiations.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report