Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Bennett, after meeting Egypt’s Sissi: ‘We laid the foundation for deep ties’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that he had “an important and very good meeting” with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Sharm el-Sheikh, in which the two “laid the foundation for deep ties moving forward.” The summit was the first in a decade between the two countries’ leaders, and Sissi welcomed the new Israeli prime minister publicly and warmly.

Bennett thanked Sissi for Egypt’s “important role in the region,” noting that after more than four decades, the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt “continues to serve as a cornerstone in Middle East security and stability,” according to a readout from his office.

Bennett also emphasized the “significant role” that Egypt plays in “maintaining security stability in the Gaza Strip,” as well as in helping to secure the release of the two Israeli civilians and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers held by Hamas.

Egypt in recent months has tried to more publicly play the role of responsible, effective broker between Israel and Hamas. Cairo had a central role in negotiating the ceasefire that ended the May Israel-Gaza war after 11 days.

In the aftermath of the war, Egypt has also sought to play a role in Gaza’s reconstruction, facilitating indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on a long-term ceasefire.

“The president also discussed the importance of the international community’s support for Egypt’s efforts to rebuild the Palestinian territories, in addition to the need to maintain calm between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, especially with Egypt’s continuous moves to ease tension between the two sides in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” Sissi’s office said. READ MORE