Sisi wants to 'break deadlock' in peace process

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says his country is serious in its efforts to restart Israel-PA peace talks.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Reuters

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Thursday his country was serious about pushing forward peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

"Egypt's recent serious effort aims to break the deadlock that has hung over peace efforts," he said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.

"It is a sincere effort to make everyone face their responsibilities and warn of the consequences of delays in achieving peace," he said.

His remarks followed a trip by Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Israel earlier this month, the first such visit in nine years.

Sisi said in May that Egypt was willing to take part in peace talks, saying there was a "real opportunity" for an Israeli-Palestinian deal that could lead to warmer ties between his country and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who met Shoukry during his visit, welcomed Sisi's offer.

Shoukry also met PA leaders in Ramallah.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in April 2014.

In 1979, Egypt was the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel after years of conflict. It remains an influential player in the region.

However, ties between the countries have been complex; on the one hand, under Sisi in particular security and defense cooperation has perhaps never been better, yet many Egyptians still harbor deep anti-Semitic sentiment, and anti-Israel feeling on the street and in the media is strong.

Netanyahu has called on Palestinians to engage in direct negotiations with Israel, but PA leaders have refused to do so without preconditions.

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has instead tried to put pressure on Israel through diplomacy at the UN.

In June, representatives from 28 Arab and Western countries, the Arab League, European Union and the United Nations met in Paris to discuss ways to impose a two-state solution.

Neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives were invited to attend the meeting, which aimed to prepare for a peace conference by the end of the year.

The PA has welcomed the French bid but Israel strongly opposes the initiative, insisting that only bilateral negotiations, not imposed solutions, can solve the conflict.

AFP contributed to this report.




top