Netanyahu arrives in Egypt on first foreign visit
www.chinaview.cn 2009-05-11 18:33:56   Print

    SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived here Monday noon for his first foreign visit since taking office in late March. He is due to hold talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

    Netanyahu was welcomed by his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Nazif at the airport, local Nile TV reported.

    The Israeli delegation also includes Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, but the hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who has sour relations with Egypt.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) meets with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, on May 11, 2009. Netanyahu arrived here Monday noon for his first foreign visit since taking office in late March.(Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) meets with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, on May 11, 2009. Netanyahu arrived here Monday noon for his first foreign visit since taking office in late March.(Xinhua/Zhang Ning)
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    Netanyahu's visit came just one week before his planned visit to the United States, when a showdown of his Mideast policy is expected.

    Earlier in the day, Mubarak said in an interview with Israeli TV Channel 1 that Egypt is committed to the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian refugees' rights. He also touched on Egypt's views about reviving the peace process in the Middle East.

    Analysts expected that talks between the two sides would focus on the two-sate solution and how to achieve progress in the Mideast peace process.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) meets with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, on May 11, 2009. Netanyahu arrived here Monday noon for his first foreign visit since taking office in late March. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) meets with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, on May 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)
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    Since Netanyahu took office, there have been signs of strain between Israel and Egypt, mostly over the appointment of hard-liner Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister.

    However, Netanyahu has said several times since assuming power on March 31 that he sees Egypt as a pivotal factor in Mideast stability and peacemaking. Cairo is now the go-between between Israel and the Islamic Hamas rulers of Gaza.

    Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Relations between the two countries have never been warm, but Egypt has played a key role as mediator in many rounds of talks between Israel and Arab parties over the years.

    Mubarak has said that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include an independent Palestinian state next to Israel.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) meets with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, on May 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) meets with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, on May 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)
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Editor: Xiong Tong
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