The Egyptian presidency said that Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak and Israeli President Shimon Peres discussed Sunday efforts to relaunch direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians
The two men discussed "the peace process in the Middle East and means to move from indirect negotiations to serious direct negotiations," Egyptian presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad told reporters after the meeting in Cairo.
Israel and the Palestinians are currently locked in a round of US-brokered proximity negotiations, although the international community is trying to encourage both parties to move to face-to-face talks.
Last week, foreign ministers from the Arab League agreed in principle to the resumption of direct peace talks, but left the timing of when they should start in the hands of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Abbas has so far refused to engage in direct talks without first a freeze of Jewish settlements and guarantees over the borders of a future Palestinian state.
During the meeting with Peres, Mubarak stressed that any direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians "must be serious, with a defined time frame and with clear reference points," Awad said, refusing to speculate on when such talks would start.
The meeting was initiated by the Egyptian leader, who invited Peres for talks followed by a working lunch, Peres's office said in a statement. They last met in November.