Egyptian FM Ahmed Abul Gheit called FM Silvan Shalom to update him on progress in dealing with the Sinai attacks.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Spokesman)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit called FM Silvan Shalom this morning (8 October 2004) to update him on progress in dealing with the Sinai attacks since their phone call late last night. 

Gheit said that he is personally addressing the issue of ensuring that Israelis  receive aid. He apologized for delays and explained that Egypt is not used to dealing with events like the series of attacks that took place. He added that he has given all the necessary permits to speed up the delivery of aid and asked FM Shalom what else needed to be done.

Shalom asked Egypt to allow the immediate transfer of the bodies of the dead to Israel; to speed up the process for Israelis crossing the border back from Taba to Israel; to allow Israelis who left possessions in Taba to return to recover them; and to establish a channel of communication between the two sides for resolving issues that arise

On Thursday night, Shalom asked Gheit to allow Israelis (even those without passports) to cross the border back to Israel without delay. He also asked that Egypt permit Israeli buses to enter Taba to help evacuate Israelis and for rescue helicopters to evacuate the injured.

Gheit agreed, saying he would give Egyptian troops on the border instructions to render all assistance necessary.