"Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians must start within a short time. Time is critical and the window of opportunity that has been created must not be wasted."
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Shimon Peres and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today (Sunday), 1 August 2010, held a diplomatic working meeting, at the latter’s invitation, at the Presidential Palace in Cairo. Following the approximately two-hour meeting, Egyptian President Mubarak hosted President Peres and his delegation for lunch. Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit also attended the lunch.
At the start of their meeting, the two presidents expressed their complete support for direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel, emphasized that time is critical and added that the sides must not miss the window of opportunity that has currently been created.
President Peres underscored the seriousness of Israel’s and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions of opening direct peace talks immediately and of conducting comprehensive and serious negotiations in order to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples.
President Peres warmly thanked Egyptian President Mubarak for standing steadfast against attempts by extremist elements to sow war and destruction in the Middle East. "Egyptian and Israeli mothers and sons owe you their gratitude," President Peres said, adding that "Israel appreciates and esteems your efforts to build peace, and maintain quiet and stability, in the Middle East, as well as your efforts to return Cpl. Gilad Shalit to his family."
The two presidents also discussed the Iranian nuclear issue, the West’s imposition of sanctions on Iran, the issue of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit and additional issues related to the strengthening of the strategic relationship between Israel and Egypt.
At the meeting between Egyptian ministers Suleiman and Gheit and President Peres’s Military Secretary, Brig.-Gen. Hason Hason, it was agreed to establish a joint presidential team to resume contacts regarding the search for and location of data on missing IDF soldiers in Egypt from the Yom Kippur War. President Peres expressed the hope that the remains of the missing soldiers would be found and that it would be possible to bring them back to Israel for burial.