Netanyahu, Egypt's Sisi to hold first public meeting in NYC
Sep 22, 2017, 00:40
Trump and Al-Sisi met on the sidelines of the 72nd session of United Nations (UN) General Assembly in NY. "Most people would say 'there's no chance whatsoever, '" Trump said as he began a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in NY ahead of the U.N. General Assembly's meeting.
Monday's meeting followed a rare phone conversation earlier in the day between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas of Fatah and Hamas chief Ismail Haniya following Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks.
Although Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi doesn't fare as well among the human rights activists, he is drawing high marks for his willingness to interact publicly with Jews and Israelis.
The Egyptian president joined Netanyahu for talks with then U.S. secretary of state John Kerry hosted by King Abdullah II in the Jordanian city of Aqaba in February 2016, a former USA official confirmed to AFP earlier this year.
Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Sisi addresses the UN General Assembly on September 19.
A press release sent out Tuesday morning by Netanyahu's press office said that the Prime Minister also met with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and discussed with him the importance that Israel ascribes to strengthening bilateral cooperation as well as the considerable potential of such cooperation; with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - thee two discussed the strengthening of economic cooperation with emphasis on cyber and he opening of direct air links; and with Rwandan President Paul Kagame - they discussed deepening cooperation with an undisclosed third country.
But that relationship has been tested since the July 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the subsequent bloody crackdown on Morsi's supporters.
Egypt's mediation also comes as relations improve between Sisi and the United States after Trump's arrival at the White House in January.
Trump's aides - led by his Middle East envoy and son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior worldwide negotiations aide Jason Greenblatt - have been shuttling between leaders from the two sides in recent months.
An Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would eliminate "one of the main excuses" used by terrorists in the region, he argued. The objective is "to reach a just solution based on the principle of the two-state solution and worldwide decisions".
A State of department official said at the time that the suspension decision is a message that the USA is not happy with the lack of progress in human rights in Egypt and a recent law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), stating "we want to see improvements".
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