Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, met with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and senior Egyptian officials this past Wednesday in Egypt.Barak also met with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohammad Tantawi and Egyptian intelligence minister, Omar Suleiman.

Israeli Ynet News reported that the meeting focused on stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and efforts to release the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

Israeli officials accompanying Barak reported the meetings to be positive and productive.

Barak directed Egyptian officials to pressure Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, into resuming peace talks.

The Palestinian Authority firmly states that negotiations will not resume until Israeli settlement construction ceases.