Sisi congratulates Netanyahu on inauguration, vows to work on maintaining Israel-Palestine calm

Amr Kandil , Sunday 1 Jan 2023

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to congratulate him for officially assuming the post and forming the new government, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

Sisi and Netanyahu
Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Compiled photo


During the phone call, El-Sisi stressed to Netanyahu Egypt’s keenness to continue intensified efforts on all issues related to the Palestinian cause, chief among which is maintaining Palestinian-Israeli calm and resuming negotiations between the two sides.

The Egyptian president affirmed the importance of achieving a fair and comprehensive peace between the two sides in a way that contributes to achieving security and prosperity for all peoples of the region.

El-Sisi also stressed the necessity of refraining from any unilateral measures that would lead to tensions and complicate the regional scene.

El-Sisi and Netanyahu also discussed a number of issues of bilateral relations and current regional and international developments, the statement added.

Netanyahu returned to power for a sixth term as Israeli PM on Thursday, presiding over a far-right coalition government formed from his Likud party and ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving leader, held the post from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021, before he was ousted in June last year after the Knesset voted to form a new government led by Naftali Bennett.

Over the past years, Egypt has worked on maintaining calm between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2021 and again on West Bank in 2022 killed hundreds of Palestinians, with Egypt helping the sides to reach a ceasefire in both conflicts.

Also, Egypt has repeatedly condemned Israeli violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Palestinian lands as well as Israeli settlement expansion, warning that such practices undermine efforts to reach peace between the two sides based on the two-state solution.

Egypt and Israel, however, maintain strong bilateral relations at various levels and have been keen to coordinate on regional issues to ensure peace in stability in the region.

The two countries are also members of the Cairo-based East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which was formed in 2019 to establish a regional gas market in the eastern Mediterranean and enhance trade relations between eight member states.

Egypt was also the first Arab country to recognise Israel as per a US-brokered peace treaty in 1979.

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