Israel's Netanyahu to visit Egypt on Tuesday

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Israel's Netanyahu to visit Egypt on Tuesday

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Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit Egypt on Tuesday, with talks on a prisoner swap and Middle East peace set to dominate the agenda.

The Israeli Prime Minister announced the trip at the start of his weekly cabinet session, saying he would speak with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak.

He revealed that he had requested the meeting after talks with Egypt’s intelligence chief Omar Suleiman last week.

“I believe we have an interest in moving the peace process forward in a variety of ways,” Netanyahu declaired.

The Israeli leader says there is still no agreement with Hamas on the eventual release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Egypt is jointly mediating a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Islamist group to secure Shalit’s freedom.

Detained for more than three years, he was seized during a raid into Israel from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian militants.

Under the propoosed swap, Hamas, in charge of Gaza, would release Shalit and Israel would free some 1,000 of the 11,000 Palestinians in its jails.