Egypt’s Sisi says Putin offered to host direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, report

The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, announced Sunday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to hold direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians; al-Sisi added that he believes that Israel is becoming more and more convinced of the need for peace.

Russian President Putin meets with Egyptian President a-Sisi -

Egyptian President Abel Fattah a-Sisi announced Sunday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him that Russia is ready to host direct negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking during an interview with various Egyptian newspaper editors, the Egyptian president said that Israel is becoming more and more convinced of the need for peace. Al-Sisi also said that everyone is invited to take part in moving along the political process, a process which is the key to stability in the region.

He added that it is essential that the internal divisions within Fatah be fixed, and that the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority should be completed so that real efforts can be made to create a Palestinian state.

When asked about Russia’s role in the peace process, al-Sisi replied “we support any positive effort from any country involved, and from all those who are able to influence (the peace process), no matter if it’s the US, EU, or Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin updated me and told me that he invited both Netanyahu and Abbas to meet in Moscow for direct talks. We support these efforts, and everyone is invited to work on this issue. This issue requires a huge amount of effort, and several initiatives are being formulated. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the Palestinians, who will have a state next to Israel.”

The Egyptian president continued, saying “our position regarding the peace process remains the same; we support any effort to try and solve this complex issue. The continuation of this conflict is very negative for the region. An agreement will impact the future of our nations. Egypt supported and still support the efforts the United States has made over the past two years.”

“Egypt supports the Arab Peace Initiative, and also the Paris Peace Initiative, ” al-Sisi continued. “Our relations with both Israel and the Palestinians enable us to play a central role in the search for a peaceful solution between the two sides.”

Al-Sisi was also asked if he sees any changes in the Israeli position in regards to peace.

“I believe that Israel is becoming more and more convinced as to the importance of a peace agreement, and that’s a positive sign, ” replied the Egyptian president. “Unfortunately, the process is stagnant, and there needs to be efforts as long as there is an initiative from the Israelis, Palestinians, other countries in the region, and the international community.”

Roi Kais & Itamar Eichner, Ynet News

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