Peres: Summit with Mubarak is on

Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are to hold a summit meeting during the first half of September, Peres said Wednesday night. The announcement came a day after sources in Cairo had reportedly said that Mubarak would not agree to a summit until the boundary dispute over the 25acre beachfront called Taba was resolved.

Appearing relaxed and confident in a wide-ranging Israel Television interview program, Peres said that according to information he had just received from Avraham Tamir, the Director-General of his office who had just returned from meeting Mubarak in Alexandria, the exact venue was still to be fixed.

Peres said he expected the compromise on Taba would be signed by the end of this month or the first days of September, with the Egyptian Ambassador returning almost immediately to Israel or being replaced by a new Ambassador. The summit conference would then follow, probably around September 9-12.

The Prime Minister said the meeting with Mubarak would take place in Egypt, and it will be “with a view to the future and not to the past. That is to say, we also naturally will discuss improving bilateral relations between Egypt and Israel, but we will also discuss how to continue the momentum for peace in the Middle East.”

Peres said that Mubarak, as the host, would be the first to announce details of time and place. “There is an objective timetable (for the meeting),” he said. “According to the timetable, the compromise will apparently be signed in a conclusive form by the end of the month, or at the latest the beginning of September. According to this order of events, the Egyptian Ambassador will then return to Israel, or one will be appointed, and immediately afterwards the summit meeting will take place.”

NEXT STORY