• 05:14
  • Tuesday ,12 July 2016

Egypt’s foreign minister calls for peace in rare visit to Israel

By The World News

Copts and Poliltical Islam


Tuesday ,12 July 2016

Egypt’s foreign minister calls for peace in rare visit to Israel
In the first such visit for nearly a decade, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, offering Cairo’s help in reviving peace talks with Palestine. Mr. Shoukry’s visit is the first by a high-level Egyptian official to Israel since 2007.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday, Mr. Shoukry called for revived peace talks between Israel and Palestine, voicing support for the two-state solution, and promised Egypt’s support for peace negotiations. 
With Mr. Netanyahu looking on, Mr. Shoukry said that the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “is not far-fetched”, stating that “it is no longer acceptable to claim that the status quo is the most that we can achieve of the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples”. 
Promising Egyptian support for any negotiations, Mr. Shoukry outlined his country’s commitment to a “just, comprehensive and sustainable resolution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”, acknowledging its significance in securing broader Middle Eastern peace and security.

In a joint-conference with Mr. Shoukry, Mr. Netanyahu reiterated his call for Palestinians to “follow the courageous example of Egypt and Jordan”, and resume direct negotiations with Israel. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel. 

Mr. Shoukry’s visit to Israel is the first by an Egyptian official in nine years, and is an example of strengthened ties between the two countries. In 1979, Egypt was the first Arab state to agree a peace deal with Israel. However, relations deteriorated over Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, and were further worsened after the election of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi as Egyptian president in 2012. 

Since the election of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2014, ties between Israel and Egypt seem to be strengthening. Mr. Sisi recently made a high-profile speech calling for a resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, a move welcomed by Mr. Netanyahu. In April, Israel’s deputy chief of staff spoke of an “unprecedented level of cooperation” with Egypt, especially in regards to intelligence sharing in the common fight against Islamic State. 

Reuters has shared video footage of the joint news conference between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Shoukry.