RIYADH (AFP) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will pay a brief visit to Saudi Arabia for talks on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in which Cairo is mediating.
Mubarak will meet King Abdullah in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, a Riyadh-based diplomat told AFP.
The two leaders will discuss “the situation in the Palestinian territories and Israel’s threats to launch an all-out assault on the Gaza Strip” to force the release of an Israeli soldier held by Palestinian militants, he said Monday.
The pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported that an Egyptian delegation had met the captive corporal at an undisclosed location in the Gaza Strip.
The soldier was seized by Palestinian militants in a deadly raid on an army post on the Gaza-Israel border on June 25, triggering a major Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip and the Hamas-led Palestinian government.
Another Arab diplomat said that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal met in Jeddah Sunday with Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas’s envoy, Nabil Shaath, who briefed him on the situation.
Palestinian militants holding the soldier issued a 24-hour ultimatum Monday for Israel to free Palestinian prisoners. But the demand was immediately rejected by Israel.