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Egyptian, Israeli presidents meet on Mideast peace process

By Xinhua,

Cairo : Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks on Thursday morning with his visiting Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian MENA news agency reported.

The two leaders discussed means of advancing peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel and Egypt’s ongoing efforts to realize regional peace and stability.

They also tackled the latest developments in the Israeli political arena and its possible impact on the peace process, said the report.

According to an earlier report by MENA, the two sides were scheduled to discuss the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and the current global financial crisis.

On Friday, Peres announced the resumption of talks to release Shalit, who was abducted by Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups in June, 2006.

Egypt, the first Arab country which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, has been mediating to secure a deal under which Hamas would release Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians jailed in Israel.

Peres, who arrived in the Red Sea resort earlier in the day, is also expected to post Mubarak on Israel’s stance on the Arab Peace Initiative that was approved at the 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut, said MENA.