Egypt Recalls Trade Ministry Reps

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CBNNews.com - CAIRO, Egypt - Angered over Israel's demand that the release of kidnapped IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Corporal Gilad Shalit must precede any truce arrangement with Hamas, Egypt recalled its trade ministry representatives.

The ministry officials, in Israel for quarterly meetings on Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) between Israel, Egypt and the U.S., were ordered to leave Israel immediately. They expressed their disappointment over the decision.

"This is an economic meeting that is as much an Egyptian interest as it is an Israeli one," one Egyptian trade official said.

"This decision sends a negative signal to Israeli, Egyptian and American businesses looking to promote trade between the countries. We are hopeful that the committee's discussions will soon be renewed," he said.

Meanwhile, early in the day, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel provided Egypt with a new prisoner list, which included the names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners it is willing to release in exchange for Shalit.

Israel added more names, including terrorists who were involved in major terror attacks against Israelis and were not on the original list demanded by Hamas.

Olmert reiterated that Shalit's release must come before further negotiations on a truce, including opening the border crossings for anything outside of humanitarian aid.

Source: YNet news

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