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Netanyahu says to visit Egypt on peace mission

Jan. 3, 2011 9:15 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2011 9:44 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he would visit Egypt on January 6 in an effort to revitalize stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.

"On Thursday I shall go to Egypt," he told senior members of his Likud party in remarks broadcast on Israeli public radio. "We have a single aim, to strengthen security and to move toward achieving peace."

Netanyahu did not elaborate, but Israeli media have reported that he is to meet President Hosni Mubarak at Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm Ash-Sheikh.

Mubarak has publicly blamed Israel for the collapse of peace talks, and has urged the international community, especially the United States, to move the process forward.

The two leaders last met on the fringes of a tripartite meeting between Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Sharm Ash-Sheikh on September 14.

That followed the September 2 relaunch in Washington of direct Israeli-Palestinian talks after a 20-month hiatus.

Immediately after the meeting in Egypt, Abbas said that if Israel did not renew a 10-month moratorium on settlement building in the occupied West Bank negotiations could not continue.

On September 26 the freeze expired and was not renewed. Abbas and Netanyahu have not met since the Sharm Ash-Sheikh talks.
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