Mubarak: Shalit is ‘fine’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is "fine," Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said.

"I believe there were contacts [with Shalit] and that soldier Shalit is fine, and I hope that in the upcoming period, maybe, not in the long term, the issue of soldier Shalit will end," Mubarak told journalists following a meeting Tuesday with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Mubarak also told Peres during the news conference that Israel will have to "take difficult decisions" in order to make peace with the Arab world."

"The peace process cannot handle another failure," Mubarak warned. He alluded to the Arab peace initiative, which offers peace with Israel in exchange for Israel returning to 1967 borders.

"The solution is one of two states: a Palestinian people on one hand, an Israeli people on the other. Israel will be a Jewish state and the Palestinians will have an Arab state, and discussions on that matter have ended," Peres said. "Israel has no intention to control the Palestinian people, to create more settlements, to confiscate more land."

Prior to his meeting, Peres told Ha’aretz that his meeting was not meant to overshadow the work of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. 

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