Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, right, meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center and Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 (Photo: AP)
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well as Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Prince Khaled Bin Bandar, Saudi Arabia's chief of intelligence.
In El-Sisi's meeting with Abbas — which also included Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad El-Maliki, Palestine Liberation Organisation leader and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry — the president reaffirmed the continued importance for Egypt of the Palestinian cause.
Abbas, according to Egypt's presidential spokesman, Ehab Badawi, complained about a recent Israeli land grab in the West Bank, saying it will be an obstacle hindering the continuation of negotiations with the Israelis.
El-Sisi's meeting with Prince Saud, which included Egypt's Intelligence chief Mohamed El-Tohami, discussed the threat posed by extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, a reference to the Islamic State group that now controls large swathes of land in both countries, Badawi said.
The spokesman added that the Egyptian-Saudi meeting emphasised the necessity of maintaining security in Libya and voicing support for Libya's elected parliament, which rebels refuse to acknowledge having set up a rival parliament not recognised internationally.
The Egyptian president expressed his refusal of foreign intervention in Libya and assured that Egypt will closely guard its national security, Badawi said.
Egypt has denied any involvement in air strikes on Libya after rebels blamed Egypt and the United Arab Emirates of carrying them out.
Badawi added that El-Sisi underlined the importance of joint Arab action against terrorism.
The meetings come against the backdrop of the regular meeting of Arab foreign ministers, opening today at the Arab League's headquarters in Cairo.