Egyptian paper: Barak in Cairo next week to finalize prisoners’ swap deal
|Thursday, January 17,2008 12:02|
Israeli war minister Ehud Barak is to visit Egypt next week for talks on prisoners" swap deal between the Hamas Movement, which is holding IOF soldier Gilad Shalit, and his government.
The opposition paper "Al-Misriyoon" published in its edition on Wednesday a report noting that the visit would be the second of its kind for Barak to Egypt within a month after meeting Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Sharm El-Sheikh on 26/12/2007 in a meeting that targeting easing an Egyptian-Israeli friction over Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni"s statements against Cairo.
Quoting what it described as a "well-informed source", the paper said that in the event the conditions for concluding a deal were met then Shalit, who is held in the Gaza Strip, would be handed to Egypt, which in turn would deliver him to Israel at completion of all conditions of the deal.
The paper added that Barak would also discuss Hamas"s demands such as lifting the siege on Gaza among other conditions.
A Hamas official had warned that the IOF military escalation on the Gaza Strip was jeopardizing the entire swap deal in which Hamas demanded the release of almost 1,400 Palestinian prisoners including 350 serving life sentences, women, sick prisoners and minors.