Presidential spokesperson Alaa Yousef (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The Egyptian presidency announced on Monday that the translation of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's interview with AP on Saturday regarding the peace process and relations between Arab countries and Israel was not accurate.
Responding to questions by Egyptian journalists in New York about the Egyptian president calling on other Arab countries to participate in the peace agreement with Israel, spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency Alaa Youssef said that El-Sisi spoke about having a complete peace solution in the Middle East and how it would be positive for all the people in the region.
Youssef added that when the Egyptian president spoke about relations between Arab countries and Israel, he stressed that would not happen except after a solution to the Palestinian issue and a declaration of a Palestinian state according to the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The official presidency spokesperson added that establishing a Palestinian state and having a permanent peace in the Middle East according to the 2002 Arab Peace initiative would create a new reality allowing the peace between Egypt and Israel to expand into other Arab countries.
The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative calls for Israel’s withdrawal from the Palestinian territories in exchange for full normalization of ties between Israel and the Arab world.
In the AP interview on Saturday in New York, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was quoted in English saying that "efforts should be renewed to solve the Palestinian issue and expand Egypt's nearly 40-year-peace with Israel to include more Arab countries."
El-Sisi's quotes were later understood in the Arab media as if the Egyptian president was calling for the expansion of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel to include other Arab countries.
The Israeli government welcomed the statement published in the AP interview.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the statement via his Twitter account welcoming the statement calling on the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "to return immediately to the negotiating table in order to advance the diplomatic process."
El-Sisi is currently in New York attending the meetings of the UN General Assembly.