Netanyahu to meet Egyptian President on Tuesday

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is back in Israel from talks in Washington.

Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, back in Israel from talks in Washington on restarting direct peace negotiations with the Palestinians, said on Sunday he would meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak this week.

"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.

Netanyahu met President Barack Obama at the White House last Tuesday and both leaders said they hoped face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would begin soon.

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.

Palestinians have said they would wait and see what those measures entail before agreeing to direct talks.

They also said they wanted to see progress on the issues of the future borders of a Palestinian state and security before engaging in direct negotiations.

Bureau Report