Fatah, Hamas welcome President Sisi’s call for solution to Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 May 2016

Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas welcome El-Sisi's comments on need for peaceful settlement to Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (AP)

The mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement has hailed a recent call by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Palestinians and Israelis to reach a peaceful settlement to the decades-long conflict.

Osama Al-Qawasmi, spokesperson for the Fatah movement of the Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas, expressed his movement’s “complete readiness to respond to every initiative that contributes to the achievement of national unity…to reach freedom and independence."

He said, in comments carried by Egypt's state news agency MENA on Tuesday that El-Sisi's remarks reflect “Egypt’s attention to the interests of the Palestinian people, their issues and national rights.”

The Egyptian leader called on the Palestinians and Israelis to seize what he described as a "realistic" and "great" opportunity to reach a peaceful solution, citing the Egypt-Israel peace treaty as an example of the positive outcome of negotiations, while also pledging that Cairo would “make every effort” to find a solution.

El-Sisi said “there will be a warmer peace [between Egypt and Israel] if we provide a solution for our Palestinian brothers…and give hope to Palestinians to establish a state and offer guarantees for both countries.”

Al-Qwaasmi stressed that “ending the Israeli occupation and establishing the Palestinian state is the key to real peace and stability.”

MENA reported earlier on Tuesday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also welcomed El-Sisi's "willingness to make efforts to achieve fair peace and establish the Palestinian state.”

The rival Islamic Hamas group, which rules Gaza, also welcomed El-Sisi’s comments, expressing in a statement “its readiness to deal with all the efforts to achieve reconciliation and restore national unity.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said his country was ready to join Egypt and other Arab states in "advancing the peace process and stability in the region."

On Tuesday, El-Sisi expressed his backing of an upcoming international conference in France to launch peace talks, an initiative already rejected by Netanyahu, who believes direct negotiations were the only way to resolve the conflict.

The gathering of ministers has been postponed from May to June to ensure the United States would attend.

The meeting is set to include the Middle East Quartet - which comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - the Arab League, the UN Security Council and about 20 other countries, without Israeli or Palestinian participation.


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