09/14/2021, 09.20
EGYPT-ISRAEL
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Al-Sisi and Bennett talks focus on security and Palestinian conflict

For the first time in 10 years an Israeli premier is on official visit to Egypt. The meeting took place in the tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Israeli leader speaks of "the foundations for deeper ties in the future". The energy sector of strategic interest, with the agreement on natural gas exports from 11.3 billion euros. 

 

 

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Security in the region and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an element of great tension for which a resumption of peace talks between the parties is "very unlikely" in the immediate future. These are the issues at the heart of yesterda's meeting  between the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennettin the tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Bennett is the first head of government of the Jewish state in the last 10 years to make an official visit to the Land of the Pharaohs. His trip lasted a few hours and may represent the starting point for further diplomatic steps, thanks to Cairo's role as mediator with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. 

Egypt was the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but relations between the two neighbors have often been troubled. In a note released at the conclusion of the meeting, Bennett said yesterday's face-to-face meeting "laid the foundation for deeper ties in the future." "We addressed a whole range of issues," he added, "in the areas of diplomacy, security and the economic sphere, as well as deepening relations and strengthening the common interests of our countries. 

The Egyptian bureau stresses that the two leaders also discussed "efforts to revive the peace process" Israeli-Palestinian, on a dead track since 2014 and around which at the moment there is little hope of recovery. The Israeli premier then posed the question of the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza also in 2014 and never returned and the fate of two civilians who entered the Palestinian enclave illegally and then kidnapped by local militias. Finally, Cairo insists on the importance of the work of rebuilding the infrastructure and activities in ruins due to the blockade that Israel has imposed on the Strip for 15 years now. 

The talks between Bennett and al-Sisi finally focused on some regional issues, among which the dossier concerning the Iranian nuclear program, source of tension between Israel and Teheran. The Israeli premier concluded by saying that he had explored with his counterpart "ways to deepen relations and interests of the two countries", which have recently strengthened ties in the energy sector. Since 2020, in fact, Cairo receives natural gas from Israel to liquefy it and export it to Europe, a deal worth 11.3 billion euros.

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