Egypt's Sisi to launch 'Israel-friendly' peace initiative
The initiative would culminate with a tripartite summit bringing together Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas along with Sisi in Cairo to kick-start stalled negotiations.
Sisi's peace play would work hand in hand with the French initiative pushed for by the French prime minister, but would be more in line with Israeli terms, said Israeli press reports.
Unlike the French peace initiative, Sisi's would not push for an international conference, with negotiations limited to Israel and the Palestinians under Egyptian auspices in the Egyptian capital.
The details were confirmed by a senior Palestinian source quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth. The source said both parties expressed interest in the Egyptian initiative, but noted that at this stage no agreement had been reached.
|Unlike the French peace initiative, Sisi's would not push for an international conference, with negotiations limited to Israel and the Palestinians under Egyptian auspices in the Egyptian capital|
Due to the large influence of Egypt on the Palestinian Authority and close relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv, the newspaper report added, it will be difficult for the parties to reject Sisi's initiative.
On May 17, the Egyptian leader urged the Israeli government to resume negotiations and reach an agreement with the Palestinians in a speech reportedly co-written with former British minister and Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair.
The president offered Egyptian mediation. "We need to pass the first stage where there is despair, and then we will see that the peace agreement is indeed possible," said Sisi.
Speaking on May 23 at the opening of the summer session of the Knesset, Netanyahu expressed willingness to resume talks, which aim to create a Palestinian state. He stressed that such a state must be demilitarised and recognise Israel as a fully militarised Jewish state.
Netanyahu on Monday rejected the French plan. According to the Israeli press report, however, the Egyptian initiative has been fully coordinated with the Israeli leader, although he has not yet commented on it in public.