Netanyahu, Peres Congratulate Egypt's Sissi on Election Win

This is the first phone call between Israeli and Egyptian leaders since Mubarak's ouster in 2011.

Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres called Egypt's newly elected president, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, and congratulated him for his election victory.

In the first phone call between an Israeli prime minister and an Egyptian president since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Netanyahu told al-Sissi that he considers the countries' relations and the peace process strategically important.

"The prime minister wished the Egyptian people a future of stability, prosperity and peace," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.

Peres also called al-Sissi, saying Israel is committed to the peace treaty with Egypt and to developing the ties between the countries in all fields.

Al-Sissi told Netanyahu and Peres that Egypt is committed to the peace treaty with Israel. The newly-elected president said that Egypt sees the agreement as an achievement that should be used for the benefit of all peoples in the region. Al-Sissi also added the peace process should be advanced and a solution to the Palestinian issue should be found.

Netanyahu had very close relations with ousted Egyptian President Mubarak and with then Intelligence Chief General Omar Suliman, conversing often with the two over the phone, and meeting them once every few months.

After Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, and especially following the Muslim Brotherhood victory in the election and Mohammed Morsi's presidency, no direct contact existed between Netanyahu and the Egyptian leadership. The bulk of communications between the sides was through Netanyahu's emissary Attorney Yitzhak Molcho and National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, who would travel to Cairo to pass messages from Netanyahu.

However, contact on security and intelligence channels continued. The Israeli contacts were chief of the diplomatic-security staff in the Defense Ministry, Amos Gilad, heads of the Israeli army's planning division and top brass at the Mossad and Shin Bet. Most of the communications were with the Egyptian army and top intelligence officials.

Moshe Milner