Netanyahu, Egypt's Sissi Hold Talks on Regional Turmoil
- Author: Joey Payne Sep 22, 2017,
Sep 22, 2017, 0:41
Both met in NY on the sidelines of UN General Assembly's annual session, discussing efforts to revive the Middle East peace process.
Egyptian officials said president El Sisi saw the 9pm meeting with Mr Netanyahu as an opportunity to discuss the resumption of the overall peace process. According to two participants in the meeting, the Egyptian President sounded optimistic and said Egypt was interested in helping.
Sisi has been involved in secret talks with the Israeli premier in the past.
The hour-and-a-half-long meeting at the Lotte Palace Hotel in Manhattan on Monday was closely watched for signs of a rapport between the two men over the key issue of restoring wider negotiations.
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. They twice met for closed-door talks in 2016.
But that relationship has been tested since the July 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the subsequent bloody crackdown on Morsi's supporters.
A State of department official said at the time that the suspension decision is a message that the U.S. is not happy with the lack of progress in human rights in Egypt and a recent law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), stating "we want to see improvements".
The United States will consider resuming some suspended military assistance to Egypt, US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday.
Last month, Egypt described the USA decision to reduce aid as a "misguided decision given the nature of the strategic relations" that have bound the two countries for four decades.
Palestinian leaders had been put off by Trump's administration after the president suggested he was not committed to a two-state deal. "It's a great pleasure to have this meeting with you", Sissi told Netanyahu at the start of the meeting, speaking through a translator.
Trump visited Israel and the occupied West Bank in May.