Netanyahu-Sisi Meeting Highlights Warming Ties Between Israel and Arab World

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sissi in New York

Both met in NY on the sidelines of UN General Assembly's annual session, discussing efforts to revive the Middle East peace process. At the meeting, Netanyahu was said to have outlined a five-step plan aimed at promoting a regional peace initiative with Arab states, and reviving peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

A statement by Netanyahu's office following the meeting said the two leaders held a "comprehensive discussion about the problems of the region".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged the Palestinians to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security.

The meeting comes as Egypt is increasingly involved in efforts to stabilize the situation in Gaza and bring about a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation that would lead to a reassertion of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip.

The developments signalled a shift in Egypt's approach to the Islamist Palestinian group following years of tensions with Cairo accusing Hamas of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood group.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled he would consider resuming military aid to Egypt which had been frozen because of concerns over its human rights record.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had temporarily frozen military aid to Egypt following a deadly crackdown on Morsi's supporters. It was the first time Sisi and Netanyahu have held public talks. Trump praised the distinguished relations between the two countries.

At the start of their meeting, Mr Trump was keen to stress that achieving Middle East peace was a priority for his administration. The objective is "to reach a just solution based on the principle of the two-state solution and global decisions".

Mr El Sisi joined Mr Netanyahu and then U.S. secretary of state John Kerry for talks hosted by Jordan's King Abdullah in Aqaba in February last year, a former USA official confirmed to Agence France-Presse earlier this year.

Trump visited Israel and the occupied West Bank in May.

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