Abbas to meet Sisi in Cairo

PA chairman to meet Egyptian President amid strained relations between PA and Egypt, before Abbas' meeting with President Trump.

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Abbas and Al-Sisi
Abbas and Al-Sisi

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas will meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Monday with ties strained between them and ahead of the PA leader's talks with Donald Trump in Washington.

The PA chairman is to meet Trump at the White House for the first time in early April, a PA official said on condition of anonymity.

An Arab League summit is also set for March 29 in Jordan, and Abbas's discussions with Sisi are likely to touch on the meeting.

The meetings come as the American president's administration wades into the decades-old Arab- Israeli conflict, with one of his top advisers holding talks with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week.

Jordanian King Abdullah II is also reportedly to meet Trump in April. Abbas spoke to Trump by phone earlier this month.

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel, and would be key players in any regional peace process which the Trump administration says it would like to pursue.

Trump cast uncertainty over years of international efforts to foster a two-state solution to the conflict when he met Netanyahu last month.

At that meeting, Trump broke with decades of US policy by saying he was not bound to a two-state solution to the conflict and would be open to one state if it meant peace.

Ties between Abbas and Cairo have been strained, with senior PA official Jibril Rajoub recently refused entry to Egypt to attend a conference.

The PA delegation then left in protest.

Media reports have said the tensions involve Cairo's efforts to support one of Abbas's rivals, Mohammed Dahlan, and a failed attempt to hold a regional peace summit including Israel.