(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke a short while ago today (Sunday), 5 December 2004, with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Prime Minister Sharon thanked him for the gesture he made regarding today’s release of Azzam Azzam. Prime Minister Sharon also thanked Egyptian Gen. Omar Soliman for his efforts on the matter.

Prime Minister Sharon said that he was happy to have met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Intelligence Minister Omar Soliman. Prime Minister Sharon said that the meetings were extremely effective and that he looks forward to working closely and strongly with Egyptian President Mubarak in the future.

Prime Minister Sharon added that as a personal gesture to President Mubarak, he had instructed that six Egyptian prisoners be released. In addition, Prime Minister Sharon ordered that the release of Palestinian prisoners be considered as well.

Prime Minister Sharon thanked Egyptian President Mubarak for his comments in the Egyptian media on Thursday, and said that he believes that together the two of them will be able to reach great achievements for future generations.

Egyptian President Mubarak said that he had instructed that Azzam Azzam’s sentence be shortened and said: “I did this especially for you.”

Egyptian President Mubarak noted that he is interested in working and cooperating with Prime Minister Sharon on every matter, and agreed that a strong working relationship could be achieved: “I agree with you completely. Together we can achieve many things and I am sincere in these intentions.”

Egyptian President Mubarak stated that Egypt is prepared to do everything in order to aid the advance of the process with the Palestinians.