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Israeli PM to Meet Sisi Soon, Says No Meeting will Be Held with Abbas

Israeli PM to Meet Sisi Soon, Says No Meeting will Be Held with Abbas

Sunday, 5 September, 2021 - 08:45
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (File photo: Reuters)

The Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will travel this week to Sharm el-Sheikh to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, announced the official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation.


The visit is the first of its kind for an Israeli prime minister in more than ten years, days after the tripartite summit between Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Jordanian King Abdullah II.


Bennett will try to avoid progress on a political track with the Palestinians, while Sisi aims to pave the way for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.


A senior Israeli official confirmed that Bennett would avoid discussing the Palestinian cause with Sisi and rather focus on security issues.


A spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, Ambassador Bassam Rady, told Radio Masr that the Egyptian-Jordanian-Palestinian summit reaffirmed the Egyptian-Jordanian support to the Palestinian cause.


"We have called on the international community and the international quartet to revive the peace process, under the new US administration and the new government in Israel," he added.


Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine agreed to keep communications channels at the level of foreign ministers and heads of security and intelligence services to reach a formula that will be activated during the coming period.


The Palestinians are working intensively with Egypt and Jordan to develop a plan that enjoys Arab and US support to launch a new political process in the region that leads to direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.


The coordination intensified and accelerated after the war on the Gaza Strip and the US administration's desire to find a comprehensive solution based on the two-state solution.


The Palestinians received important signals from Washington after Biden met with Bennett last weekend and announced his support for the two-state solution.


Abbas met with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who granted the Palestinians several facilities.


During a Zoom conversation with officials of Jewish organizations in the US, Bennett said he intends to reduce tensions with the Palestinians despite the lack of "political breakthrough" with them.


The prime minister said that there has always been a dichotomy: either move towards a Palestinian state or do nothing.


"I think that in many areas it is possible to act to reduce the problem ... especially in the economic field. I believe that employment and living with dignity can improve the situation. Two parties can take measures to reduce tensions and improve daily life."


Asked about the meeting between Gantz and Abbas, Bennett said he did not intend to meet with the Palestinian President because he had filed a complaint against Israel before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.


"I also do not want to create the illusion of something that will not happen because a disappointment can have negative consequences. We will not take drastic measures. We will freeze the construction and take measures to stabilize the area," he continued.


Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid confirmed there were no political talks with the Authority, adding that 90 percent of the contacts are done through security coordination.


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