Egypt to continue efforts to achieve comprehensive peace in Middle East based on two-state solution: Sisi

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Dec 2021

Egypt will continue its efforts to achieve fair and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the two-state solution and international legitimacy resolutions, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday.

Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi meets with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Cairo, 9 December 2021. Egyptian Presidency

This should achieve security and stability and open horizons for cooperation and development for all peoples of the region, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady cited El-Sisi as saying.

Lapid arrived in Cairo for an official visit on Thursday, three months after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who took office in June, met with El-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh. It was the first time an Israeli prime minister had visited Egypt since 2011.

In a tweet upon his arrival, Lapid vowed to continue working with Egypt to “advance our common interests in regional stability.”

During the meeting, El-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s continued efforts to prevent the outbreak of tensions between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, the spokesman said.

Furthermore, the meeting discussed Egyptian-Israeli relations in various fields as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern, on top of which was the Palestinian cause, the spokesman added.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel also attended the meeting.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz, Lapid’s diplomatic adviser Yair Zivan, and Israel’s Ambassador to Cairo Amira Oron were also in attendance.

During September’s meeting with Bennett in Egypt, El-Sisi asserted that Egypt’s support for all efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East are based on a two-state solution and international resolutions that contribute to ensuring security and prosperity in the region.

The two leaders also discussed Egyptian-Israeli bilateral relations in all fields in addition to the latest developments regionally and internationally.

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

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

In May, Egypt mediated a ceasefire between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in the Gaza Strip after Israeli bombing claimed over 250 Palestinian lives, including many women and children, in 11 days.

Egypt also allocated $500 million for the reconstruction of the strip.

Egypt’s general intelligence chief Kamel visited Israeli and Palestinian territories in May and August and met with officials from both sides to consolidate the ceasefire.

During his visit in August, Kamel met with Bennett for the first time.

Smuggled antiquities returned to Egypt

During a meeting between Lapid and his Egyptian counterpart, Shoukry, on Thursday, Israel handed back 95 smuggled antiques from Egypt that were seized by Israeli authorities.

The antiques were returned in the presence of officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Israeli Antiquities Authority.

Shoukry’s meeting with Lapid came “in confirmation of Egypt’s role and endeavours seeking to foster peace in the Middle East,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

They also met to discuss issues of mutual concern between the two countries, the ministry added.

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