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High-ranking Egyptian Official to Visit Israel for Discussions

Shafi Abdul Hamid, an aide to Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali, is expected in Israel tomorrow for a meeting with David Kimche, Director General of the Foreign Ministry. He will hold two days of talks with Israeli officials and is scheduled to meet with Premier Yitzhak Shamir.

The visit of a high-ranking official from Cairo, accompanied by two aides, comes at a time when Israeli-Egyptian relations are at their lowest ebb since the two countries signed their peace treaty in 1979. It follows by a week President Hosni Mubarak’s warm welcome to Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat which the Israeli government denounced as a blow to peace prospects in the region and a violation of the Camp David accords.

Hamid is returning the visit of Kimche to Cairo a month ago, but it is regarded as especially significant under the present circumstances. Cairo has stressed in recent days that Egypt has no intention to deviate from the Camp David peace process despite its apparent reconciliation with the PLO.

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