Middle East News
Egypt agrees to swap alleged Israeli spy for prisoners
Oct 21, 2011, 8:29 GMT
Cairo - Egypt has agreed to swap an Israeli man, held in Cairo on spying charges, for Egyptian prisoners held by Israel, state television reported Friday.
The government has tasked the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and security agencies to take all steps to repatriate all Egyptian prisoners held in Israel in exchange for Ilan Grapel, according to the report.
'This move comes in response to demands from families of the Egyptians held in Israeli prisons,' the government said in a statement on Thursday.
Grapel, 27, was arrested in Cairo in June on suspicion of spying for Israel's external intelligence agency, Mossad.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but relations have suffered since the ouster of president Hosny Mubarak in February.
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