Livni to meet Egyptian counterpart in London

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was due in the UK today for a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit at the Palestinian Authority donors’ conference.

The meeting between the two ministers is reportedly the first of its kind since they fell out over Egypt’s handling of the arms smuggling into Gaza.

Last December, Ms Livni criticised Egypt for not acting decisively against the arms smuggling threat, provoking a harsh response from Mr Gheit.During the conference, the ministers are expected to discuss the possible re-opening of the Rafah border crossing between the coastal Gaza Strip and Egypt.

This morning Ms Livni, who flies back to Israel after Shabbat, was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street and to give a briefing for leaders of the Jewish community.

She was also due to speak at the donors’ conference before meeting David Miliband at the British Commonwealth and Foreign Office later in the day.

Ms Livni met with Aboul Gheit’s top aide, Husam Azacki, in Jerusalem on Sunday, which reportedly paved the way for the London meeting.

Ms Livni’s visit follows a surprise trip by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the Jordanian capital Amman on Wednesday, where he met King Abdullah for ongoing peace talks.

Last updated: 6:03pm, May 7 2008