(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this morning (Thursday), 18 November 2004, telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and expressed his deep sorrow over the regrettable incident in which three Egyptian soldiers were killed in Sinai. The Prime Minister said that this was a mishap and promised that the IDF would investigate the incident and share its findings with Egypt.  The Prime Minister added that Israel is ready to assist Egypt in accordance with any Egyptian request.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered his condolences to Egyptian President Mubarak on the passing of his brother, Ahmed Sami Mubarak, earlier this week.

Prime Minister Sharon told Egyptian President Mubarak that he is awaiting the visit to Israel next Wednesday of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman in order to continue and enhance bilateral dialogue and cooperation.

Egyptian President Mubarak thanked Prime Minister Sharon and said that Egypt accepts the apology and knows that it was a mishap.  The Egyptian President expressed the hope that bilateral cooperation will both continue and deepen. He thanked the Prime Minister for his condolences on the passing of his brother.