JERUSALEM: Israeli President Shimon Peres will head to Egypt this week to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Peres office said Monday that the two leaders would meet Thursday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. They said talks would focus on promoting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the fate of a kidnapped Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip and the global financial crisis.
They will also discuss efforts to obtain the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier seized by Gaza militants in June 2006, Israeli public radio said.
Egypt has been brokering a potential prisoner exchange between Israel and Gaza s Hamas leaders. Hamas is holding an Israeli soldier captured more than two years ago in a cross-border raid from Gaza into southern Israel.
In related news Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Egypt has issued invitations to rival Palestinian factions to attend power-sharing talks in Cairo.
One Abbas aide said Sunday the talks are to start Nov. 9.
The invitations were sent to Abbas Fatah movement, the Islamic Hamas and smaller groups.
Abbas has shunned Hamas since the group seized Gaza in June 2007, but he suggested Sunday his representatives would attend the negotiations.
Hamas confirmed it received the invitation.
Hamas and Fatah are to talk about forming a joint government, rebuilding the security forces and setting a date for presidential and legislative elections.
Several rounds of power-sharing talks have failed since Hamas won parliament elections in 2006. -Agencies