Sisi cancels Abbas visit to Egypt

A visit by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Egypt scheduled for later this week has been abruptly canceled, say sources in Ramallah.

Elad Benari ,

Abbas and Al-Sisi
Abbas and Al-Sisi

A visit by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Egypt that was expected to take place later this week has been abruptly canceled, PA sources in Ramallah told i24news on Tuesday.

Abbas was set to meet Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo on Saturday but the sources told the network that the meeting with Sisi has been scrapped.

The report, if true, marks the continuation of tensions between the PA's Ramallah-based government and Egypt.

In February, senior PA official and close Abbas confidant Jibril Rajoub was barred from entering Egypt and was deported.

Subsequent reports said that the reason for the tension with Egypt was Abbas's rejection of last year’s efforts to launch a regional peace initiative with the participation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

While Egypt appears to have distanced itself from Abbas and Fatah, it has been getting closer to Fatah's rival, Hamas.

Relations between Egypt and Hamas have been tense under current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who has cracked down on the underground tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, which terrorists use to smuggle terrorists and weapons from Egypt into the coastal enclave.

In an attempt to improve strained ties, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh recently met in Cairo with Egyptian officials to discuss ways to improve the strained relations.

This week, another Hamas delegation headed to Egypt for bilateral talks.