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Egyptian territories not on the table in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks: Egypt FM Shoukri

Egypt FM Sameh Shoukry denied rumours that the French peace initiative would include an Egyptian concession of parts of Sinai for Palestinian resettlement

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Jun 2016
Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: AP)
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Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry denied on Wednesday speculations that the concession of Egyptian territories to establish a Palestinian state was part of a French Palestinian-Israeli peace initiative.

"The French peace initiative aims to bring the Palestinians and Israelis [back to the negotiating table]... and it does not include an exchange of territories," Shoukry said during a press conference with Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó.

France has proposed an initiative that will be held in Paris on 3 June with the participation of 26 countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordon, and Morocco.
Egypt has announced on more than one occasion its support of the French efforts.

Rumours have been recently circulated on social media outlets suggesting that the initiative proposed by France to conclude a peaceful resolution for the Arab-Israeli conflict would based on the creation of Palestinian state on parts of the Sinai peninsula which would be conceded by Egypt in exchange Israel ceding a portion of its Negev desert to Cairo.

After attending a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Shoukry reaffirmed to reporters Egypt's longstanding position of support for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

The FM said that the Egyptian government supports all international and Arab initiatives to reach a peace deal between Egypt and Israel, including the 2002 Arab peace initiative.
In 2002, Saudi Arabia had proposed an “Arab Initiative” that was adopted by the Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002 and included a comprehensive proposal to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

During the 2002 summit, Arab states unanimously endorsed the initiative that stipulated that Israel completely withdraw from occupied Arab territories, including Syria's Golan Heights, and accept the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the June 1967 borders.

Arab states would in return establish relations and sign a peace agreement with Israel.

Two weeks ago, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi alluded to an opportunity for peace with Israel, or a “warmer peace", during which he addressed during a speech Israeli and Palestinian leaders, stressing that peace, prosperity and cooperation will only take place if both parties are able to reach a two-state solution.

The Hungarian FM is currently on a three-day visit to Egypt as part of an official delegation led by Hungarian PM Viktor Orban.

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