Home World News Egypt’s foreign minister takes off to Israel to resuscitate peace process

Egypt’s foreign minister takes off to Israel to resuscitate peace process

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was heading to Israel on Sunday in a visit to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and discuss bilateral ties and regional issues, the foreign ministry said in a statement.


Shoukry would hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, focusing on reviving the peace process with the Palestinians, Ahmad Abu Zeid, spokesperson of the Egyptian foreign ministry, said in a statement.

This is the first visit by an Egyptian foreign minister in Israel since 2007.

The visit targets resuming peace negotiations and putting the Palestinian cause into international focal interests after a period of stalled peace process, the statement added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday the importance of the visit, indicating the warming relations between the two countries, and reiterated his support by comments made by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in May about the importance of renewing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Al-Sisi said then there’s a “real chance” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, with the mediation of Arab states — led by Egypt — and based on the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative.

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have expressed their appreciation of al-Sisi’s statements and stressed the importance of involvement of Arab states in the region in attempts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent months.

These statements are made amid a French peace initiative to hold an international conference later this year to restart peace talks between the parties, an initiative which Israel rejects.

International pressure to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes after 10 months of ongoing violence which claimed the lives of 34 Israelis and 215 Palestinians. The last round of talks fell apart in April 2014 without results.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979. The two countries had since cooperated on security and diplomatic affairs.

However, relations soured in 2012, when Israel embarked on a military operation in the Gaza Strip enclave, ruled by the Hamas Islamist Group. Egypt, then ruled by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi, recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest of the country’s activities.

The situation changed since al-Sisi took power, and a new Egyptian ambassador presented his credentials to the Israeli president in February. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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