Peres Visits Mubarak in Cairo

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli President Shimon Peres met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Thursday at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

High on the meeting agenda was the revival of the Saudi peace plan, also referred to as the Arab League initiative because of its popularity with the league's member nations.

Mubarak briefed Peres on Egyptian efforts to reunite rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, as well as on the status of a prisoner swap with Hamas for the release of IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit.

According to a radio report Wednesday on the Voice of Palestine, Hamas has upped its ante for Shalit to 1,400 prisoners, including a number with "blood on their hands," those directly involved in killing Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The radio program quoted Muhammad Bassiouny, chairman of Egypt's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Bassiouny, who previously served as ambassador to Israel, said the three-staged swap would begin with the release of 450 prisoners, followed by 650, with the remainder turned loose in the final stage.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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