Sisi calls to reach 'two-state solution'

Speaking at the UN, Egyptian President says the Arab-Israeli is “the core of regional instability in the Middle East”.

Elad Benari ,

Sisi addresses the UN General Assembly
Sisi addresses the UN General Assembly

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Tuesday that the Arab-Israeli “continues to be the core of regional instability in the Middle East” and called for “joint efforts by the countries of the region and the international community to reach a final and comprehensive solution to the conflict.”

He made the comments during his address at the UN General Assembly, during which he urged Israel to "write a bright page" in Middle East history and make peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"Permit me to deviate from the written statement to address an appeal to the Israeli leadership and Israeli people," Sisi said, according to AFP.

"We have a real opportunity to write a bright page in the history of our region, to move toward peace," he added.

Sisi claimed that “Egypt continues to pursue its utmost efforts to achieve peace in the region” and called for negotiations to reach a final settlement on the basis of the “two-state solution”.

“Egypt affirms that the hand of peace remains extended in the form of the Arab Peace Initiative,” the Egyptian President continued, a reference to the 2002 initiative, which says that 22 Arab countries will normalize ties with Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

Israel to date has rejected the plan due to the fact that it calls for Israel to accept the so-called "right of return" for millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel, effectively bringing an end to the Jewish state.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in May they were ready “to negotiate with the Arab countries on updating the Arab Peace Initiative, to reflect the dramatic changes since 2002, and to maintain the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”

Sisi in his remarks at the UN said his country “stresses the necessity of working to take constructive steps to end Israeli settlement-building and initiate negotiations for the ultimate resolution, while simultaneously halting all acts that bring harm to the Arab heritage in Jerusalem.”

Sisi’s call for a resolution to the Israeli-Arab conflict comes after he several months ago 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 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."

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

Most recently, the Egyptian President said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to host direct talks between Netanyahu and Abbas, who has rejected direct calls and has instead imposed preconditions on negotiations.