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Netanyahu tells Egyptian leader: Your assistance in Shalit deal ‘warms the hearts of all Israelis’

Prime Minister calls interim ruler Tantawi and expresses gratitude for 'great and successful effort over the past few months.'

by Barak Ravid and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz

October 13, 2011 | 4:13 pm

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is seen in this file still image from video released Oct. 2, 2009 by Israeli television. Photo by REUTERS/Handout/Files

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is seen in this file still image from video released Oct. 2, 2009 by Israeli television. Photo by REUTERS/Handout/Files

Two days after signing the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal, it seems the agreement may also have a positive effect on the strained relations between Israel and Egypt. On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Egypt’s interim ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and thanked him for his country’s assistance in negotiating the deal.

“You have made great and successful efforts over the past few months,” Netanyahu said in the phone call. “Your assistance warms the hearts of all Israeli citizens.”

The conversation between the two is only the second one to take place since the revolution in Egypt in January.

On Thursday, the independent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that Egypt and Israel are also working on a deal to swap an Israeli man, held in Cairo on spying charges, for 81 Egyptian prisoners held by Israel.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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