Egyptian president and Israeli prime minister have talks in first formal meeting between two countries in over a decade | World News


The leaders of Egypt and Israel met on Monday, in the first formal meeting between the two countries in Egypt in over a decade.

President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held bilateral talks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh. They discussed Israeli-Palestinian relations after the recent 11-day conflict.

Israeli censors blocked local media from reporting the meeting ahead of time on security grounds, but Egyptian officials briefed that the two men will talk about “ways and efforts to revive the peace process” as well as other regional matters.

Egypt was credited with mediating between the two sides and negotiating a ceasefire and Mr Sisi is reportedly trying to find a long-term agreement on the future of Gaza.

Pic: AP
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The Israeli PM opposes a two-state solution but his coalition government has just presented a proposal for the development of the Gaza Strip in exchange for peace. Pic: AP

Mr Bennett, a strongly right-wing politician, opposes a two-state solution but his coalition government has just presented a proposal for the development of the Gaza Strip in exchange for peace.

The two-stage plan, which has been floated before, would involve an overhaul of Gaza’s electricity and health systems, followed by the creation of transport links to the West Bank and the building of a seaport in Gaza, if Hamas ceases attacks on Israel.

It was put forward by Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid on Sunday and reportedly has the backing of the prime minister and defence minister Benny Gantz, although it is yet to become official government policy.

However, a recent jailbreak by six Palestinians from a high-security Israeli prison has increased tensions between the two sides.

Israeli security forces have successfully captured four of the six, prompting Hamas to fire rockets from Gaza into southern Israel over the weekend.

The IDF in turn hit Hamas targets inside the Gaza strip – no casualties were reported on either side.



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