Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overnight, the first official meeting of the two leaders.
The two met in the Palace Hotel in New York City, on the sidelines of an ongoing United Nations General Assembly meeting, ahead of scheduled addresses to the assembly by both President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
While Netanyahu and al-Sisi met for closed-door talks twice in 2016, today’s meeting is the first official gathering of the leaders for on-the-record talks.
The 90-minute meeting began at 9:00 p.m. local time (4:00 a.m. Jerusalem time), and according to press releases by both governments, covered regional issues including instability in the Gaza Strip and efforts by the Trump administration to reboot talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office following the conclusion of the meeting said the two leaders held a “comprehensive discussion about the problems of the region.”
The Egyptian leader “expressed his desire to assist in efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the region.”
According to a report by Haaretz, al-Sisi met with American Jewish leaders ahead of his talks with the Prime Minister, focusing on the Trump administration’s bid to renew talks between Israel and the PA.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with President Trump to discuss a potential Israel-PA peace deal and concerns over possible Iranian violations of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
During the meeting, Trump expressed optimism regarding the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough with the PA.
“It would be a fantastic achievement. We are giving it an absolute go. I think there's a good chance it could happen. Most people would say that there is no chance whatsoever. I think with the capability of Bibi - and frankly, the other side - I really think we have a chance. I think Israel would like to see it. I think the Palestinians would like to see it. And I can tell you that the Trump Administration would like to see it."
"History people say it can't happen - I say it can happen," the president added.