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Egyptian president: Putin willing to host Netanyahu and Abbas

Egyptian President tells journalists he was told by Putin that he is ready to host direct talks between Netanyahu and PA.

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Elad Benari,

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Reuters

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin informed him that he is ready to host direct talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking in an interview with Egyptian journalists and quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth, the Egyptian president said Israeli convictions of peace are strengthening.

Sisi also invited everybody to take part in moving the peace process forward which, he said, was the key to stability in the region.

He added that there is no avoiding a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah since only this, he contended, could lead to genuine concerted efforts to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Several months ago, Sisi in a televised speech urged Israelis and Palestinian Arabs to seize what he said was a "real opportunity" for peace and hailed his own country's peace deal with Israel.

The comments were welcomed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who stressed that "Israel is ready to participate with Egypt and other Arab states in advancing both the diplomatic process and stability in the region."

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman welcomed Sisi’s call as well, saying he welcomed the Egyptian president’s efforts to achieve peace and establish a Palestinian state.

But despite his comments welcoming the peace efforts, Abbas recently rejected an American proposal for a meeting with Netanyahu in the presence of Arab and western leaders.

Abbas's stated reason for refusing was the claim that the proposal was just a plan to circumvent the Arab and French peace proposals.

The PA chairman has also insisted that any reboot of peace talks with Israel should happen within a clear timeframe and under international supervision.