Egypt Could Send Peacekeepers to a Future Palestinian State, Sissi Says

Egypt president made remarks ahead of meetings on Monday with Italian leaders and Pope Francis.

Jack Khoury
DPA
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi confers with an aide before an interview with AP at the presidential palace in Cairo, September 20, 2014.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi confers with an aide before an interview with AP at the presidential palace in Cairo, September 20, 2014. Credit: AP
Jack Khoury
DPA

If Palestine were to be recognized as a state, Egypt could send peacekeepers to ensure that attacks launched from there against Israel stop, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said in an interview published Sunday.

Sissi spoke to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of meetings on Monday with Italian leaders and Pope Francis.

The former army chief's visit to Italy is part of a two-nation tour that will also take him to France. The trip will be his first to Europe since he was elected president in June.

"We need to guarantee the security of Israelis, but, at the same time, we must give back hope to the Palestinians, and the best way to fuel this hope is the creation of a Palestinian state," Sissi said.

Following that step, confidence-building measures will be needed, "because Israeli security cannot be put at risk and Palestinians must stop committing serious and inconsiderate acts which, at that point, would be self-destructive," he noted.

"Egypt is ready to help," Sissi continued, saying he had already discussed his ideas with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We are ready to send military troops inside a Palestinian state. They would help local police and reassure the Israelis through their [peace] guarantee role. Not forever, of course. For the time necessary to re-establish trust," Sissi said.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

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