Israel and Palestinians: Egypt FM urges two-state solution in rare visit


Sameh Shoukry's visit is the first visit for an Egyptian foreign minister to Tel Aviv since 2007, which aims to give a push to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

El-Sissi recently called for the resumption of peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.

Egypt was the first of a handful of Arab countries to recognise Israel with a U.S.-sponsored peace accord in 1979, but Egyptians' attitudes to their neighbour remain icy.

Israel's attorney general says he is looking into suspicions surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which are reportedly related to his personal finances.

Last month, however, Netanyahu said that he would not accept the initiative's key condition that Israel withdraw from land occupied during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, including East Jerusalem.

"We are willing to make all efforts to help find a solution to this problem", said Sisi.

Speaking at a news conference with Netanyahu, Shoukry said "the vision of the two-state solution is not far-fetched" but rather required "steps to build confidence".

A diplomatic source close to the Egyptian foreign ministry told Asharq Al-Awsat: "The Turkish-Israeli rapprochement might not concern Egypt as much as Cairo is looking for a possibility to achieve progress in the region, which needs quick action".

Shoukry also briefed his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Gouda over the results of his visit to Israel regarding peace talks.

In response to the allegations of graft, Netanyahu said he lawfully received a $40,000 donation from Mimran while he held no office and denied any wrongdoing.

The summit provided some positive optics for Netanyahu, whose right-wing administration has faced growing criticism from Europe and the United States over the stalled peace negotiations and Israel's continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing cabinet will see some 50 million shekels ($12.8 million, 11.6 million euros) allocated to "strengthen" the communities.

Egypt supports both the Palestinian and the Israeli side to restore the peace talks, affirmed Shoukry, pointing that the starting point should be the adherence to global resolutions, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry. Egypt, then ruled by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi, recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest of the country's activities.

Violence since October has killed at least 214 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.

Spokesmen for both Herzog and Livni responded to the Saudi report by saying that not only had they not met with Shoukry, they also did not speak to him on the phone.

At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu reiterated that almost four decades have passed since Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty.



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