Egypt's Sissi to Bring Up Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in Trump Meeting

Sissi and Abbas meet in Cairo after months of strained relations due to Egypt's willingness to move ahead on a regional agreement with Israel and the U.S.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi (R) meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas at the presidential palace in Cairo, March 20, 2017.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi is to bring up the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump next month, Cairo's Presidential Palace in Cairo said Monday. The palace made the announcement following Sissi’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo.

Sissi is to go to Washington on April 3 for a series of meetings, including with Trump.

In Monday’s meeting, Abbas updated Sissi on his own talks with the Trump administration, including a phone call with Trump about two weeks ago.

Sissi spokesman Alaa Youssef said after the meeting that Egypt has always aspired to a just agreement that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem. The Arab position in general should be based on the Arab Peace Initiative, Youssef added.

Abbas said coordination with Egypt was important given Egypt’s key status in the Middle East and its support for the rights of the Palestinian people.

The Abbas-Sissi meeting took place after 10 months of disconnect and tension due to Palestinian criticism of Egypt’s willingness to move ahead on a regional agreement with Israel and the United States to renew the peace process.

According to a senior Palestinian official, the Egyptian position as presented in the announcement, especially the emphasis on the Arab Peace Initiative and support for the 1967 borders, bolsters the Palestinian position and will prevent any future talks about a regional agreement made from Israel’s viewpoint and normalization before the Palestinian question is resolved.