On the 30th anniversary of Anwar Sadat’s landmark visit to Israel, the leaders of Israel and Egypt are expected to meet.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for a summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik for pre-Annapolis talks on Nov. 20.
The leaders will discuss their expectations in advance of the Annapolis peace conference, as well as work to increase Arab participation in the parley.
Israelis marked 30 years since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s landmark visit, with extensive media retrospective reports Monday, though the tone was often rueful.
Sadat flew to Israel on Nov. 19, 1977 to meet Prime Minister Menachem Begin and address the Knesset – a visit that laid the groundwork for the Camp David peace accord the following year.
Ties between the Jewish state and the first Arab state to recognize it have been lackluster for years, and many Israelis fear new disappointments at the upcoming peace conference with the Palestinians in Annapolis, Md.
Israel and its U.S. allies also have accused Egypt of not doing enough to stop arms smuggling from the Sinai into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, a charge denied in Cairo.
“This is the healthiest and best sign of the health of relations between the countries,” Shalom Cohen, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, told Israel Radio. “I think that the dialogue between Israel and Egypt over the years has proved itself and passed the test.”