Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh will arrive in Egypt on Monday at the head of a high-level ministerial delegation, mainly for talks on increasing trade.
Shtayyeh will meet with Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly. Palestinian ministers accompanying him will meet with their Egyptian counterparts and will sign joint cooperation agreements.
The visit is part of the Palestinian government efforts to encourage the Economic Disengagement Plan (EDP) from Israel, a strategy that never saw light due to Israeli obstacles.
The EDP aims to separate the Palestinian economy from Israel’s by opening to Arab markets. The strategy is based on calls by the Palestinian National and Central Councils to amend the Paris Protocol.
Signed in 1994, the Paris Protocol is an annex to the Gaza–Jericho Agreement, stipulates that Israel will collect and pay tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority on goods entering the Palestinian markets. In addition, it sets customs duties and a quota for goods that can be imported.
In February, Shtayyeh met with his Libyan counterpart Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah in the Libyan capital where he signed economic agreements and understandings.
Prior to his trip to Libya, the Palestinian PM had visited Iraq and Jordan also to push for economic agreements and discuss the possibility of relying on Iraqi and Jordanian oil instead of Israeli fuel.
Shtayyeh had met with Madbouly at the Climate Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh last November. He had called for raising trade between the Palestinians and Egypt and benefiting from Egyptian expertise in modernizing industries, training, and developing new industrial ideas.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that trade exchange and joint cooperation will be at the core of the Palestinian delegation’s talks in Cairo. Meetings will also discuss bilateral relations, the political situation, Palestinian reconciliation and issues of common interest.