Israeli PM Bennett visits Egypt in first official trip for a decade - GulfToday

Israeli PM Bennett visits Egypt in first official trip for a decade

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi hold talks Naftali Bennett in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh. AFP

Gulf Today Report

The Egyptian presidency said that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday and held talks on Israeli-Palestinian relations and bilateral issues, in the first official visit of an Israeli prime minister to Egypt in a decade.

Bennett, the head of a far-right party who took office in June, received an invitation from Sisi last month.

The meeting took place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at the southern tip of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The Egyptian presidency said in a statement that the talks are expected to discuss "means and efforts to revive the peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians, in addition to bilateral and regional issues.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014, and analysts say there is little prospect of their revival. Bennett, a nationalist at the head of an inter-party coalition, opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Diplomatic and security sources said one focus of Monday's talks would be the situation in the Gaza Strip, where Egypt helped broker a ceasefire after 11 days of conflict in May between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Strip.

An upsurge in cross-border violence since late August has tested a fragile truce. Over the past week, Palestinian militants have fired rockets into Israel for three consecutive nights, leading to Israeli air strikes.

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