History will judge those who waste a chance at peace, Sisi tells Palestinian unity cabinet

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Oct 2017

The Egyptian president addressed a meeting of the Palestinian unity government in Gaza by video link, urging Palestinian officials to grasp the opportunity for lasting peace

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi speaks at a meeting of the Security Council to discuss peacekeeping operations during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017 Reuters

History will hold responsible those who waste a chance at building peace, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday, in a video address to the Palestinian unity government, which is visiting Gaza for the first time in three years.

The Gaza visit is seen as a historic move towards reconciliation between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas, the culmination of months of talks sponsored by the Egyptian government.

In his speech, El-Sisi called on the unity government to end the years-long division, while wishing them success in serving the Palestinian people.

"Members of the national reconciliation government, Egypt has forever, despite the challenges, been a supporter of the Palestinian cause. The cause has always been at the top of Egypt's priorities during meetings with world leaders or during international conventions," El-Sisi said.

"I have always known that there is an opportunity for peace in the region, on the condition of union between all parties," he said.

The Egytian president said the whole world was watching the efforts to acheive reconciliation between the Palestinian people, and their persistence in overcoming previous obstacles to harmony and unity is valued.

"I have a full belief that the differences should be solved among Palestinians with the support of your Arab brothers, rejecting interference from any foreign powers on the issue," El-Sisi said.

The Egyptian president added that no one benefits from divisions between the political factions, emphasising his confidence that Palestinian leaders would appreciate the sensitivity of the current situation and the importance of converging to accomplish unity and move forward with the wishes of the Palestinian people.

El-Sisi sent his intelligence chief to attend the meetings in Gaza, as a message of Egypt's keenness to provide all the support necessary to finalise the reconciliation process.

In recent months, Egypt has been sponsoring talks for the resumption of Palestinian national reconciliation efforts, while also pushing for a revival of Israel-Palestine peace talks.

The Egyptian president has repeatedly asked both Palestinians and Israelis to not waste a chance to live in peace.

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