Jpost reports –
Egyptian president urges effort to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; Netanyahu welcomes peace push.
Amid growing opposition in Egyptian society to relations with Israel, manifested in a new BDS campaign launched in Cairo this week, Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has lauded the peace treaty with Israel, claiming that it “wrote a bright chapter in the region’s history.”
Delivering a speech at the inauguration of a new power plant in the city of Asyut Tuesday, Sisi said: “When I meet American Congress members and delegations of Jewish communities, I always tell them that the step that was taken more than 40 years ago is the one that brought real peace and wrote a bright chapter of peace between people in our region’s history.”
“After signing the peace accords, no one thought that true and lasting peace, as it exists today between Israel and Egypt, could be achieved. However, it became a permanent peace due to the changing times and reality,” Sisi stated.
The Egyptian president dedicated most of his speech to the efforts to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Sisi said that “there is an opportunity to write a new chapter of peace in the area,” calling on both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to take advantage of this opportunity.
“If we can all join forces in order to solve the Palestinian issue by creating hope for Palestinians and assuring security for Israelis, we will be able to write a new chapter that may prove to be more important than the peace accords between Israel and Egypt,” Sisi added.
In light of the ongoing tensions between Hamas and Fatah, Egypt’s president urged the Palestinian factions to unify their ranks, suggesting Egyptian mediation in reconciliation talks.
To signal the dire need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sisi asked the Israeli leadership to allow his speech to be broadcast in Israel.
The Egyptian president concluded his speech by saying that there is still not total trust between the Egyptian and Israeli people, but that these relations would be improved if there was peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Sisi’s comments appear to be a last attempt to revitalize the Israeli-Palestinian peace process after France announced on Tuesday that the regional peace conference that was supposed to take place this month will be postponed to enable the American administration to attend it.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Sisi’s call for a renewed effort to advance the peace process.
“Israel is prepared to cooperate with Egypt and with other Arab states to advance the diplomatic process and the stability in the region,” Netanyahu said.
“I appreciate President Sisi’s actions and am encouraged by the leadership that he is displaying, including on this important issue,” he added.