Israeli FM Lapid visits Cairo to discuss Gaza reconstruction with Sisi

Israeli FM Lapid visits Cairo to discuss Gaza reconstruction with Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid means of boosting the peace process in the Middle East.
2 min read
09 December, 2021
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid returned to Egypt 95 stolen artifacts [Getty]

CAIRO – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met on Thursday in Cairo to discuss the reconstruction of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, as well as means of boosting the peace process in the region, spokesman Bassam Rady posted on the Egyptian Presidency's official Facebook page.  

Top diplomats from both sides attended the meeting, he added.

"I presented to president Sisi my project [on Gaza's reconstruction]: ‘economy in exchange for peace’ and the steps the Israeli government had been taking with regards to the Palestinian [cause]," Lapid tweeted.

“We [also] talked about security-related issues including Iran’s attempts to become a country with nuclear military powers and how to fight terrorists and instability in the region," Lapid said in another tweet.

Sisi stressed that Egypt was committed to peace in the Middle East based on the two-state solution, according to Rady.

During a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Lapid also returned 95 archaeological artifacts, illegally smuggled into Israel, Egyptian state-run Ahram newspaper reported

In September, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Egypt and met Sisi at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in the first visit of an Israeli premier to Egypt in a decade. 

Two months later, the Egyptian-Israeli peace accord was amended for the first time in four decades, which allowed Egypt to deploy permanent, fully-armed border guards in Rafah city in the restive North Sinai province along the northeastern border with Israel.

Only lightly-armed Egyptian police forces have been permitted in the area since the treaty had been signed in 1979.

Since the devastating bombing of Gaza in May, Egypt has attempted to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas - which controls the besieged Palestinian enclave - via a prisoner swap. 

Israel wants Hamas to release two Israelis and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers currently being held in Gaza.