PM expected to meet Mubarak in first half of May, discuss Shalit release, Gaza smuggling
Meeting with Mubarak: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will head to Egypt next month and meet with President Hosni Mubarak. An exact date for the meeting has not been provided, but the visit is expected to take place in the first half of May.
Netanyahu is expected to meet the Egyptian president before his planned meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on May 18th. Mubarak is also expected to head to Washington later on, apparently following Netanyahu’s visit in the White House.
Bibi’s meeting with Mubarak holds great diplomatic significance, as the Egyptian leader is deeply involved in the ongoing talks between Palestinian actions, as well as in the efforts to secure the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Israel also views Egypt as a strategic partner in fighting arms smuggling attempts into the Gaza Strip.
Despite some tensions between Israel and Egypt in the wake of Netanyahu’s election win, Mubarak has maintained his close ties with Israel. Last week, Egyptian Intelligence Chief and Mubarak’s right-hand man, Omer Suleiman, visited Israel.