Ariel SharonAccording to Israeli reporters accompanying Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, he has had extraordinary success during his current visit to Cairo in gaining Egyptian agreement on several important matters related to Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai next April 26.

While there has been no official confirmation, the Egyptians reportedly have accepted Sharon’s proposal that the international peacekeeping force in Sinai would patrol the strategic Islands of Tiran and Senafir at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba; that Egypt will purchase the tourism infrastructure built by Israel at Sharm el-Sheikh; and that Egypt will open consulates at Eilat and Haifa. Agreement also has been reached on international charter flights from Eilat to the Sinai airfields.

A joint committee has yet to settle the problem of the international border which runs through the town of Rafah. Part of the town is in the Gaza Strip and part in Sinai. Israel has asked that a hotel there be included in the territory it occupies while the Egyptians say it stands on their territory.