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Egyptian foreign minister in Israel on a negotiation mission


The Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, has travelled to Israel on Sunday on a rare visit during which he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Shoukry will have an in-depth discussion with Netanyahu on the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

“They will analyse and promote the confidence building measures in order to create an environment conducive for the resumption of direct negotiations between the parties and to achieve a lasting and just solution,” it said.

The visit comes two weeks after Shoukry made his first trip to Ramallah to meet with the Palestinian leadership.

Netanyahu has said at a cabinet meeting that he is happy about the visit of the Egyptian foreign minister which is the first since 2007.

“I’ll meet with him this afternoon and again this evening. This visit is important for several reasons: it reflects the change in relations between Egypt and Israel which has led to the major appeal by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi to advance the peace process with Palestinians and Arab countries,” Netanyahu said on public radio.

In May, President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi was willing to help revive the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis which is currently stalled.

He had said that lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians would warm relations between his country and Israel.

Egypt became the first Arab country, and one of only two with Jordan, to sign a peace agreement with Israel in 1979.

Relations between the two countries, however, remain a sensitive issue in public opinion and the Egyptian media.

Thirty ministers and representatives from Arab and Western countries, the UN and the EU, had gathered early June in Paris to support the French initiative to hold an international conference with the Israelis and the Palestinians by the end of the year.

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