Egypt's foreign ministry denies reports of proposal to establish Palestinian state in Sinai

Ahram Online , Friday 17 Feb 2017

FM Spokesman
Ahmed Abu Zeid, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt (Photo: Courtesy of Ahmed Abu Zeid official twitter account)

Egypt’s foreign ministry has denied reports of a proposal to establish a Palestinian state in Sinai, saying the idea “has never been a point of discussion between any Egyptian and foreign officials.”

In a statement to the privately-owned TV channel DMC late on Thursday, ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that the Sinai Peninsula is Egyptian sovereign territory.

The spokesman added that Egypt’s stance on the two-state solution is "clear and known to all parties", stressing that Cairo believes the two-state solution is the basis of the current international consensus whether among the UN’s Security Council or the Quartet (the EU, the UN, Russia, and the US).

“It satisfies the aspirations of the Palestinian people of establishing an independent state on their own land with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Abu Zeid said highlighting that “the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis is what will determine the agreement.”

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed claims by one of his ministers that the PM planned to discuss an Egyptian proposal to establish a Palestinian state in Sinai during a meeting with US President Donald Trump Wednesday.

On his Twitter account the day before the meeting, an Israeli minister without portfolio in the prime minister's office, Ayoub Kara, said that Netanyahu and Trump would discuss a plan to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, excluding the West Bank -- reviving an idea long rejected by the international community.

"This idea was not even a point of discussion during the meeting; everything mentioned in this matter are false claims," Netanyahu said, speaking to reporters in Washington on Thursday.

The Israeli prime minister said his country considers Egypt a key player in the maintenance of security and stability in the region.

Earlier this week, several international news reports said the staff of Israel's embassy in Cairo had been ordered by Tel Aviv security services to stay at home due to security concerns.

Abu Zeid said on Thursday night that the Egyptian foreign ministry had not received notification of any issue, adding that protocol entails the ambassador to inform them if they leave, even for a leisure trip.


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