Egypt's Sisi asks Palestinians, Israelis to support steps towards peace

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Sep 2017

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, president of Egypt, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, September 19, 2017 in New York ity. (AFP)

The opportunity of peace should not be wasted, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Palestinians and Israelis during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

"I ask the Palestinian people to reunite, and tell them that it's important that the chance to live in peace with the Israelis does not dwindle," El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi also addressed Israelis, recalling the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty and asking them to replicate this "excellent experience of peace."

"Please stand with your political leadership and don't hesitate. We are all with you for the attempts at peace," El-Sisi said.

The Egyptian president also addressed other nations and “lovers of peace,” asking them to support the ongoing steps towards peace.

"To American President Donald Trump, we have the chance to write a new page for peace," he said.

He reiterated Egypt's support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the pre-1967 borders, a long-standing Egyptian policy.

"This will bring larger stability to the region," the president said.

El-Sisi also discussed several ongoing crises in the Middle East, including the conflicts in Syria and Libya, and Egypt's efforts in combating terrorism and sources of its funding.

El-Sisi also discussed religious reform as a part of a plan to fight terrorism.

The statements by the Egyptian president come one day after meeting with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the assembly.

During the meeting at his New York residence, El-Sisi stressed the importance of resuming talks between the Palestinians and Israelis in order to reach a fair two-state solution based on international treaties, a statement by the Egyptian presidency said.

Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for the role of Egypt in the Middle East, including its efforts at fighting terrorism and supporting stability in the region.

Prior to his meeting with Netanyahu, El-Sisi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York, where he discussed the latest in the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation process.

This is not the first time that the Egyptian president has publicly called on Israelis and Palestinians to make peace.

In May 2016 El-Sisi said in a public address that peace, prosperity and cooperation will only take happen if both parties are able to reach a two-state solution.


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