Mubarak invites Olmert to Egypt

Meeting will be first between the country's leaders since Feb. '05.

mubarak 88 (photo credit: )
mubarak 88
(photo credit: )
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has invited Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Egypt for an official visit, Olmert's office said Friday. The date of the visit is to be set next week, Olmert aides said. Mubarak extended the invitation in a telephone call to Olmert on Friday, they said. It will be the first meeting between the Israeli and Egyptian leaders since February 2005, when Mubarak brokered a cease-fire package between Israel and the Palestinians in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Egypt is a key mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. On Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Cairo was trying to bring together Olmert and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace talks. Abbas, leader of the Fatah Party, favors talks. But Hamas, who took power in parliament and the Cabinet after January elections refuse to end their violent campaign against Israel or recognize its right to exist, and Olmert has said he wouldn't negotiate with Abbas until Hamas changes its ways.