Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met with a U.S. congressman to discuss arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, met Sunday with Mubarak and his foreign minister, Ahmed Abul Gheit, in Sharm el-Sheik. Israel was the first senior U.S. official to meet with Mubarak since Congress passed a bill last month freezing $100 million in U.S. aid to Egypt until Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice determined that Egypt was working to stop the flow of arms to Gaza. Egypt had announced Saturday that five new arms-smuggling tunnels had been exposed near the Rafah crossing to Gaza after a heavy rain. In a statement Sunday, Israel praised Mubarak for his commitment to allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine tunnels last November and for dedicating $23 million to purchase tunnel detection equipment from the United States. â€œEgypt’s partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presents an important opportunity for Egypt to use their forces, our trainers, and new equipment to discover and destroy these tunnels,â€ Israel said. â€œIt is my hope that enough progress will be made so that this issue can be taken off the table in future congressional appropriations bills.â€
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.