Israeli Prime Minister in Egypt for First Visit in 10 Years

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is in Egypt on Monday for a meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In addition to the mutual relationship, the Palestinian issue is also discussed during the first visit of an Israeli head of government to Egypt in ten years.

 

Al-Sisi invited Bennett, who leads a far-right party, last month. The president’s office said that talks in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh should find a way forward in the crippled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was recently in Cairo for talks with al-Sisi.

The peace talks have been stalled since 2014, and analysts say there is no reason to believe they will resume anytime soon. Moreover, Bennett is against a Palestinian state.

The situation in the Gaza Strip is certainly on the agenda. Egypt helped broker a ceasefire in May after an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, which controls the strip bordering Egypt. The truce is fragile, as witnessed by recent rocket fire from Palestinian militants and Israeli airstrikes. Egypt is said to be preparing indirect negotiations between the two sides on a prisoner exchange.

The border crossing at Taba in the Sinai desert, near the Israeli Eilat, opened completely on Monday; the corona measures have been lifted there. According to sources, Egyptian airline Egyptair will fly several times a week between Cairo and Tel Aviv from next month.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel in 1979, but the relationship has always remained cool.

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