Israeli PM Naftali Bennett meets President Sisi meet in first Egypt visit since 2011

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett meets President Sisi meet in first Egypt visit since 2011
Naftali Bennett's Monday meeting with President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh was to discuss the 'peace process' between Palestine and Israel.
2 min read
13 September, 2021
Bennett and Sisi were to meet in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh resort [SEBASTIAN SCHEINER/POOL/AFP/Getty]

Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday, on the first visit to Egypt by an Israeli premier in over a decade, the presidency said.

Sisi hosted Bennett in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to discuss "efforts to revive the peace process" between the Israelis and Palestinians, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, in 1979 became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, after decades of enmity.

In May, during Israel's deadly 11-day bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip Cairo played a key role in brokering a ceasefire between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian-Islamist group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip.

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Israel bombing killed 256 Palestinians in the besieged enclave while rocket fire from Hamas and other Gaza groups killed 13 in Israel.

Egypt regularly receives leaders of Hamas as well as of its political rival the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, while maintaining strong diplomatic, security and economic ties with Israel.

Bennett's visit comes 10 days after Abbas was in Cairo for talks with Sisi.

The last meeting between an Egyptian president and an Israeli prime minister dates back to January 2011 when autocrat Hosni Mubarak received Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking with AFP, Cairo-based analyst Nael Shama argued Monday's talks mark "an important step in light of the growing security and economic relations between the two countries, and their mutual concern over the situation in Gaza".

It also fits with "Egypt's plans to revive the political talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority", he added.