Cairo, May 2 (Prensa Latina) Egypt expects a visit by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold talks on bilateral affairs and the peace process with Palestinians. The local media, quoting official sources, say President Hosni Mubarak invited Netanyahu through Intelligence Chief, General Omar Suleiman.

The visit may precede his trip to the US on early May to hold separate talks with US President Barack Obama and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to untangle the stagnant Middle East peace process.

In addition to promoting Israel-Palestinian understanding, Egypt tries to reconcile the Palestinian factions to set up a government of unity and an independent state.

Egypt and Jordan are the only countries having diplomatic ties with Israel under treaties signed in 1979 and 1994 but Cairo holds more active ties as mediator in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The invitation excludes ultraconservative Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman because of statements before and after assuming office which Egypt consider offensive.

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