Egypt, Israel Hold First Official Meeting Between Leaders in Decade
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday in the first official visit by an Israeli prime minister to Egypt in a decade. El-Sisi extended the invitation last month, and Bennett accepted. The two leaders discussed many issues, “including ways to deepen and strengthen bilateral cooperation, with emphasis on widening the scope of reciprocal trade, as well as a long series of regional and international issues,” according to a statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Egypt has been working to broker a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas since the May cross-border conflict; Egypt also maintains a blockade of the Gaza Strip. Bennett praised the “significant role” that Egypt has played in “maintaining security stability in the Gaza Strip.” Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979. “Israel is increasingly opening up to the countries of the region, and the basis of this longstanding recognition is the peace between Israel and Egypt. Therefore, on both sides, we must invest in strengthening this link, and we have done so today,” Bennett said after the meeting.