Israeli PM to visit Egypt on Tuesday

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JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would go to Egypt to meet President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday as talks over a prisoner swap with Hamas appear to be gathering speed.

I intend to go on Tuesday to Egypt to meet President Mubarak, Netanyahu said on Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

It was not immediately clear where in Egypt the two leaders would meet.

Netanyahu s meeting follows a trip to Israel last week by Egypt s intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and comes as months-long indirect talks between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner swap are showing signs of progress.

Both sides have remained tight-lipped about the discussions, but Israel last week gave a German mediator its latest proposal over the swap that would see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners freed for a soldier captured by Gaza militants in June 2006.

Hamas said it was studying the proposal. -AFP

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