FM Shoukry, Israel's alternate PM to discuss in Cairo developments in Palestinian territories on Thursday

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Dec 2021

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to hold a session of talks on Thursday with Israel's Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid at Tahrir Palace in Cairo.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

The discussions are due to address the latest developments in the Palestinian territories, Egypt's state news agency (MENA) reported. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not released a statement on Lapid's meeting.

Thursday's talks come three months after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh, where they discussed the latest developments concerning the peace process in the Middle East. This was the first visit by Bennett to Egypt as prime minister, as well as the first visit by an Israeli prime minister in general to Egypt since 2011.

Egypt, a key regional linchpin, has been in talks with several regional and international players to revive the long-frozen Palestinian-Israeli negotiating track.

Egypt has repeatedly called for reaching a two-state solution that involves the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Recently, Egypt and Qatar signed agreements to supply fuel and basic construction materials to the Gaza Strip.

The agreement, announced by the Qatari Foreign Ministry in November, aims to alleviate the ramifications of the economic crises in the Palestinian territories on the heels of the Israeli war on Gaza in May, the pandemic, and delays in the salary payments by the Palestinian Authority.

After mediating a ceasefire between the Israeli and Palestinian sides that ended the hostilities in May, Egypt allocated $500 million to reconstruct the Strip.

In recent months, Israel has stiffened restrictions on the enclave, barring the entry of construction materials and fuel. According to media reports, several challenges now face Gaza's reconstruction given the complicated political conditions.

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