RAMALLAH, July 11 (JMCC) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
will travel to Egypt on Tuesday to continue talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about a possible move toward direct peace negotiations between Israel
and the Palestinians.
On Tuesday, I will meet President Mubarak in Cairo. It will be our fifth meeting in the space of a year. I hope to work together with him to promote direct talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said in public remarks at a cabinet meeting.
At the start of the weekly meeting, Netanyahu briefed the ministers on his upcoming trip to Egypt, as well as his recent visit to Washington, where he met with U.S. President Barack Obama. Netanyahu told the ministers that his relationship with Washington was stable and strong.
Israel and the Palestinians are currently negotiating indirectly through Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell. Netanyahu promised publicly in Washington to take concrete steps within weeks to persuade the Palestinians to upgrade the peace talks.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu was set to embark on a series of meetings with the forum of seven senior ministers in an effort to agree on a package of confidence-building measures aimed at convincing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to direct negotiations with Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
said on Saturday he wanted progress in indirect peace talks with Israel before any move to face-to-face talks. Abbas focused upon two primary issues: security arrangements and the borders of the state the Palestinians aim to found in the West Bank
, the Gaza Strip
and East Jerusalem
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