Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi expressed guarded optimism about peace between Arabs and Israel, but also warned of the threat posed by Islamists, in a meeting with U.S. foreign policy experts that included Jewish organizational officials, JTA reports Thursday.
The meeting took place on Wednesday morning at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington, D.C., with an array of some 65 guests, including representatives of think tanks that focus on the Middle East, informal advisers to President Donald Trump and representatives of an array of Jewish groups, according to the news agency.
“He said the atmosphere is more primed now for peace than it was 40 years ago when Sadat made peace,” said Ezra Friedlander, the CEO of a consulting firm who is garnering support in Congress for Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian leader who in 1979 signed the first peace accord with Israel, to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
Another attendee who asked not to be named said Sisi praised Trump, with whom he met earlier in the week, for seeking to revive Israeli-Palestinian Arabpeace negotiations, but cautioned against rushing the talks.
Trump has made Middle East peacemaking a priority, meeting at the White House in February with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and this week with both Sisi and King Abdullah of Jordan.
“I’m working very, very hard on trying to finally create peace between the Palestinians and Israel, and I think we’ll be successful,” Trump told the Jordanian King at their meeting Wednesday. Later this month, Trump is due to meet with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. READ MORE