Minister Barak and President Mubarak discuss issues of mutual interest, including Gilad Shalit and arms smuggling into Gaza.

 Defense Minister Barak and Egyptian President Mubarak meet


Defense Minister Barak meets with President Mubarak in Alexandria (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the Minister of Defense Bureau)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met today (26 August 2008) in Alexandria, Egypt. The two leaders discussed a number of regional, diplomatic and security topics of mutual interest to both states.

Minister Barak said that the release of the abducted soldier, Gilad Shalit, occupies a place of prime importance on Israel’s national agenda and told President Mubarak that Israel views Egypt as a central factor in Shalit’s return. The defense minister conveyed his appreciation to the Egyptian president for Egypt’s efforts in preventing arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip and said that we can see the fruits of those efforts, but he also emphasized that further effort must be made to reduce the smuggling even more.

Minister Barak thanked President Mubarak for his country’s efforts in reinforcing the calm in the Gaza Strip and stressed that any violation of the calm, even sporadic, isolated violations, will not be tolerated by Israel.