Egypt’s president urges Palestinians to unite, co-exist with Israel

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, president of Egypt, addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 20 September 2017

Egypt’s president urges Palestinians to unite, co-exist with Israel

UNITED NATIONS: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday urged Palestinians to unite and “be ready to co-exist” in peace with Israelis, in his address to the United Nations.
Speaking a day after a first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, El-Sisi said an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was a “necessary precondition for the entire region” to enjoy stability.
Egypt has been leading mediation efforts between Palestinian arch-rivals Fatah and Hamas as part of a push to return to the forefront of Middle East diplomacy.
Departing from his prepared remarks to the UN General Assembly, El-Sisi said he wanted to “tell the Palestinian people, it is important to unite ... to overcome the differences and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis, in safety and security.”
The Egyptian leader made a similar appeal to Israelis, saying that decades of Israeli-Egyptian peace could be expanded to the Palestinians to “overcome the barrier of hatred forever.”
“We can repeat this experience, this excellent step once again, together with the peace and security of the Palestinian citizens,” he said.
Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, has called for steps to kick-start Israeli-Palestinian talks that have been comatose since 2014.
In his address, Netanyahu said Israel was committed to achieving peace with all Arab countries and with the Palestinians, but he did not elaborate on how this could be achieved.
El-Sisi said “an independent Palestinian state” with east Jerusalem as its capital is “a necessary precondition for the entire region to transit into a new phase of stability and development.”
An Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would eliminate “one of the main excuses” used by terrorists in the region, he argued.
Turning to the United States where President Donald Trump has said he is pushing for negotiations, El-Sisi declared that there was an “opportunity to write a new page in history to achieve peace in this region.”
The meeting between Sissi and Netanyahu in New York on Monday followed a rare phone conversation between Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas of Fatah and Hamas chief Ismail Haniya.
Egypt has been mediating between Abbas’ internationally recognized Palestinian Authority located in the West Bank and Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
After Haniya met Egyptian officials in Cairo last week, Hamas announced it agreed to demands by Fatah to dissolve what is seen as a rival administration in Gaza, while saying it was ready for elections and negotiations to form a unity government.


UN calls for ‘two state’ solution to be respected in Middle East

Updated 25 February 2020

UN calls for ‘two state’ solution to be respected in Middle East

  • “All parties should refrain from undermining the viability of the two states solution in order to maintain the prospects for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace”

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council made a rare show of unity Monday when it called on all parties to maintain their support for a two state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
“Council Members reiterated their support for a negotiated two state solution ... where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,” said a statement released by Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency, and supported by all 14 other members, including the United States.
“All parties should refrain from undermining the viability of the two states solution in order to maintain the prospects for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace,” the statement added, an allusion to Israel’s recent threat to build thousands more homes in East Jerusalem, in an area claimed by the Palestinians.
The council also “stressed the need to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues” and expressed “grave concern about acts of violence against civilians.”
The statement came after two days of rising tensions in the region after the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad fired rockets at Israel, following the killing of three of its members in the Gaza Strip and Syria.