Mubarak Invites Netanyahu to Egypt

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak invited Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to come to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Mubarak extended the invitation during a congratulatory call to the newly installed prime minister.

According to officials in the Prime Minister's Office, the leaders purposed to strengthen the friendly ties between the two neighboring countries.

Mubarak's gesture follows remarks last week by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, who said he would not shake hands with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, until he apologized publicly for disparaging statements made last October.

Commenting on Mubarak's refusal to visit Israel in an official capacity in nearly three decades of rule, Lieberman said the Egyptian president could "get lost," which the media translated more provocatively as "go to hell."

"As long as Lieberman's position stays the same, if we see each other by chance at a meeting, I will keep my hands in my pockets," the Egyptian foreign minister said during an interview on Egyptian television.

"The Egyptian foreign minister must uphold the dignity of Egypt," he said. "Whoever insults the dignity of Egypt must face the consequences and accept responsibility for his words," Aboul-Gheit told the television audience.

"I have met with more than one Israeli foreign minister, and I have welcomed them in Egypt," he continued. "But never before has any of them said anything like what [Lieberman] said against Egypt," he said.

Aboul-Gheit got along well with former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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