TEL AVIV (Aug. 18)
Eight members of Likud’s “young guard” left Sunday on a five-day visit to Cairo as guests of Egypt’s ruling party.
But they almost didn’t go. The trip came close to being canceled because the Egyptian officials selected for them to meet were of no higher rank than those who met with a visiting delegation of the Labor Party earlier this year.
Likud, after all, is Israel’s governing party.
Foreign Minister David Levy, who made a successful visit to Cairo himself last month, was consulted. He gave the green light after the Egyptians set up meetings with some of their higher-ranking diplomats for the Likud politicians.
They include Egypt’s foreign minister, Amr Moussa; Agriculture Minister Yussuf Wali; and Dr. Mustafa Halil, a former prime minister.
The Likud delegation, led by Gil Samsonov, plans to propose that the Israeli and Egyptian ruling parties establish a joint “peace forum” to promote normal relations between their countries.