Egypt's Sisi discusses Palestianian reconciliation process with President Abbas during New York meeting

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Sep 2017

The two presidents met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Monday, discussing reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas

Sisi and Abu Mazen
Egypt's President Mahmoud Abbas "Abu Mazen" {L} and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi {R} (Photo:Egyptian Presidency)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York on Monday, discussing developments in the Palestinian national reconciliation process, the Egyptian president's office said in a statement.

At the meeting, held at El-Sisi's New York residence, Abbas expressed his appreciation for Egypt's sincere and productive efforts at achieving reconciliation between Palestinian factions.

Egypt has played an important role in mediating a reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah and the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, Hamas announced that it had dissolved its administrative committee running Gaza, making way for the formation of a unity government in Gaza comprised of Hamas and Fatah officials, and paving the way for the first elections in Palestine since 2006.

The move follows several rounds of talks in Cairo between Egyptian officials and Hamas leaders over the past several months.

Fatah welcomed the Hamas decision and said the PA is ready to work with the Islamist movement to achieve national unity.

The Palestinian president also expressed optimism about the prospects for acheving unity among the Palestinian people.

During Monday's meeting, El-Sisi said that Palestine would always be a top priority in Egyptian foreign policy and that Egypt would continue its efforts with the various Palestinian factions, seeking to end the spilt that divides them between the West Bank and Gaza.

The Egyptian president's office said that the two leaders agreed during the meeting to continue consultation and coordination to end divisions within Palestine.

Also attending the meeting were Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate Khaled Fawzy.

El-Sisi is currently in New York to attend the meetings of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He is due to address the Assembly on Tuesday.

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