Israeli PM visits Egypt on first official visit in a decade

Israeli cabinet meeting
israeli cabinet meeting
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a cabinet meeting at the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem on September 12, 2021. Abir Sultan/Pool via Reuters

September 13, 2021

CAIRO (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday to discuss Israel-Palestinian relations and bilateral issues, Egypt’s president said, a government official for Egypt. In the first official visit of the Israeli premier. a decade.

Bennett, the head of a far-right party who took office in June, was invited last month by CC to visit and the two were due to meet at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

The Egyptian president was also expected to address “methods and efforts to revive the peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians in bilateral and regional matters, the Egyptian president said in a statement.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians failed in 2014 and analysts say they have little chance of revival. Bennett, a nationalist over a cross-partisan coalition, opposes the Palestinian state.

A focus of Monday’s talks will be on the situation in the Gaza Strip, where Egypt helped broker a ceasefire after 11 days of conflict between Israel and Hamas in May, the Palestinian faction Joe Enclave, diplomatic and security sources said.

The escalation in cross-border violence since late August has tested the fragile ceasefire. Over the past week, Palestinian militants have fired rockets into Israel for three consecutive nights, triggering Israeli airstrikes.

border crossing

The diplomats said Bennett and Sisi were also expected to discuss regional issues, including Iran’s influence in the Middle East and the Lebanon crisis.

The visit appeared to boost transport connectivity between the two countries.

Israel’s Ministry of Transport said the Taba crossing between Israel and the Sinai, an entry point for Israeli tourists, will be fully operational from Monday as restrictions were lifted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sources in Egypt’s national carrier said that from October, EgyptAir will start operating multiple flights a week between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but relations remained calm, with security cooperation and limited economic ties.

Egypt’s Gaza ceasefire brokerage allows it to re-establish its diplomatic role https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/gaza-truce-shifts-focus-egypts-regional-role- 2021-05-30 The region in the wake of deals signed by four Arab states last year to normalize ties with Israel.

The last official visit of an Israeli prime minister to Egypt was when Benjamin Netanyahu met with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh in January 2011, just before Mubarak was overthrown.

(Reporting by Mohamed Wali, Aidan Lewis, Abdelnasar Aboulfadel, Mayan Lubel and Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Toby Chopra, Hugh Lawson and Alex Richardson)

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