Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi discussed on Sunday the former’s efforts to gain international support towards a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as the American efforts to revive peace in the region, according to press statement.
Abbas’ two-day visit to Cairo comes after his meeting with US officials in late June to reach a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which “left the dispute as it was”, and was considered by Palestinian leadership as “disappointment”, reported Haartz.
Al-Sisi asserted that solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is on top of Egypt’s agenda, adding that Egypt seeks diplomatic talks between the two parties to reach a solution based on the two-state concept to guarantee Palestinians’ their basic rights.
A two-state solution is based on the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem and a state of Israel based on the borders of 1967.
Egypt has long expressed its support to the two-state solution during different occasions, such as the US-Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh when Al-Sisi called for a two-state solution to revive peace in the region.
Al-Sisi also reportedly introduced to US President Donald Trump a framework to solve the Palestinian issue during his visit to the White House, which he referred to as the “deal of the century,” and which Israeli media reported to be based on a two-state solution.
The US stance towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is unclear, whether it is more supportive of a two-state or one-state solution. Over the past years, the US administration had expressed its support for the two-state solution; however, Trump announced recently in a joint press conference with Netanyahu that he was “looking into either the two-state or one-state solution.”
Moreover, Abbas expressed condolences to Al-Sisi for the latest terrorist attack on a military post in Sinai, asserting that Palestine stands with Egypt against terrorism.
Abbas also met on Sunday with the Egyptian director of theGeneral Intelligence Directorate (GIS), Khaled Fawzy, as they reviewed the latest developments in the Palestinian situation and the potential diplomatic efforts to receive international support for the Palestinian stance, according to press statements.
Nonetheless, Abbas briefed on Monday to the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry about his latest meetings with US envoy, Greenblatt, and President Trump’s adviser Gerard Kouchner in Ramallah to revive the peace process, as well as the highlights of the recent foreign trips aimed at gaining international support for the Palestinian cause.
On the other hand, a delegation of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] reportedly held discussions with senior Egyptian intelligence officials earlier in July.
Hamas spokesperson said in press statements that the relations between Hamas and Egypt witnessed “a positive shift”, particularly after the recent Cairo negotiations, adding that authorities in Gaza were implementing procedures aimed at reinforcing security on the borders, as “Egypt’s national security is part of Palestine’s security.”
However, Egypt and Hamas relations have long suffered of accusations by the former of terrorist attacks by the latter. In 2015, the Interior Ministry and the Egyptian Prosecution accused Hamas of training suspects who were arrested on suspicion of involvement with the assassination of former prosecutor general Hisham Barakat.
The suspects, who are allegedly members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group, received military training by elements of the Gaza-based Hamas organization and infiltrated national borders.
Furthermore, former president Mohamed Morsi, is on retrial after he received a life sentence on charges of espionage for Hamas.
Hamas has been the ruling authority in the Gaza Strip since 2007 when it won the parliamentary elections, defeating the then-ruling Fatah party.
Hamas assuming control over the Gaza Strip was considered a turning point in the history of the tunnels leading between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Since then, a full blockade on Gaza by Israel has ensued, leading to increased reliance on the tunnels for the transfer of goods.
Recently, Egypt started to increase the number of people allowed to pass through the Rafah border, Gaza’s portal to the rest of the world.