Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh to host upcoming round of Palestinian-Israeli talks in March

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Feb 2023

The city of Sharm El-Sheikh is going to host in March the upcoming round of talks between the Palestinian National Authority and the Government of Israel with the participation of Egypt, Jordan and the United States to follow up their Aqaba meeting, a joint statement said on Sunday.

Egypt s Sharm El-Sheikh
File Photo: Naama Bay. Al-Ahram

security meeting between the officials from the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government in attendance of officials from the United States, Jordan and Egypt took place earlier Sunday in the Jordanian city of Aqaba where the two sides affirmed their commitment to all previous agreements between them, and to work towards a just and lasting peace.

The joint statement issued at the meeting stated that both the Israeli and Palestinian officials reaffirmed the necessity of committing to de-escalation on the ground and to prevent further violence.

“The five parties recognise the importance of upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem in word and practice and emphasises in this regard the Hashemite Custodianship / special role of Jordan,” the joint statement said.

The statement said that the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority confirmed their joint readiness and commitment to immediately work to end unilateral measures for a period of three to six months.

The joint statement also added an Israeli commitment to stop the discussion of any new settlement units for four months and to stop authorisation of any outposts for six months was reached.

The five parties agreed to convene again in Sharm El-Sheikh in March to achieve and follow up on the goals listed above.

The participants also agreed to pursue confidence-building measures and strengthen mutual trust in order to address outstanding issues through direct dialogue, the statement said, adding that the Palestinians and Israelis will work in good faith to assume responsibilities and to enhance mutual trust through this arrangement.

The Aqaba meeting is the first meeting of its kind in years according to a statement released by the US Department of State.

The statement also revealed that participants agreed to continue meeting under this formula and expand this agreement towards a wider political process leading to a just and lasting peace.

The statement added that the participants thanked Jordan for organising and hosting this meeting and for its efforts to ensure it produced positive results. It also thanked Egypt for its support and essential role and active participation.

They also thanked the United States for its important role in efforts to reach understandings that led to this agreement in the meeting.

Sources with knowledge of the meeting told AFP that the Palestinian Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj and the head of Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency Ronen Bar were set to be in attendance.

US National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, as well as Jordanian and Egyptian security officials were also expected to be present, the sources added on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

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