Egypt works hard to revive Palestine-Israel peace talk

April 1, 2017 5:00 PM

israel palestineCAIRO, April 1 (Xinhua) — Egypt has been attempting to resolve the Palestinian issue which will top the agenda of the upcoming Egyptian-U.S. summit in Washington, experts said.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will arrive in Washington on Saturday, where he will hold talks with his American counterpart Donald Trump on Monday.

“Egypt is trying to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as it fully realizes that a peaceful settlement in Palestine means stability for the whole region,” Professor Abdel Mohdy Motawe, a Cairo-based Palestinian political analyst told Xinhua.
Egypt is working seriously for a just and comprehensive peace that will help bring real development to the Middle East, the professor said.

The Palestinian analyst explained that Egypt is the heart of the Arab world, as its balanced stances toward the region’s crises and issues give the North African country a great chance to achieve tangible results in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“It is apparent that Trump seeks to intensify his relations with Egypt as he realizes Egypt’s role in combating terrorism as well as its influence on Arab countries which help achieve a regional peaceful settlement,” he said.
According to Motawe, the Sisi-Trump meeting will focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because “Trump wants to succeed where previous U.S. presidents have failed.”
The Palestinian cause is a common worry for all Arabs, stressing that the recent Arab Summit in Jordan highlighted it as the core issue for Arab nations, the expert added.
Cairo is pushing forward to renew the stalled peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The peace process saw no progress since former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed to broker negotiations between the two sides in late April 2014 after a nine-month quest.
The seven-decade Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been a major concern in the turmoil-stricken Middle East region. A Saudi-led Arab peace initiative in 2002 urged Israel to fully withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 in return for normal relations with the Arab world. However, Israel rejected the initiative.
For decades, Egypt has been working hard with other international players to bring the Palestinians and the Israelis to the negotiation table to end their prolonged conflict.
Israel has always been blamed by the international community for the deadlock of the Middle East peace process because of its expansive settlement policy that is rejected even by its strongest ally, the United States.

Despite a late 2016 UN Security Council resolution demanded immediate and complete halt of Israeli settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli parliament approved the so-called “Regulation Bill” in February, which retroactively legalizes about 3,850 housing units in dozens of outposts illegally built on privately owned Palestinian lands.

Meanwhile, Tareq Fahmy, a professor of political science with the American University in Cairo, said the tension between the Palestinian and Egyptian leaderships has come to an end, which will help Egypt push for the renewal of Palestine’s peace talks with Israel.
The visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Egypt in late March, as well as the upcoming visits of Abbas and Sisi to Washington, prove that they will both discuss the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during their meetings with Trump, Fahmy said.
Egypt is concerned that the political vacancy regarding the Palestinian issue may be filled by deadly fighting, so it will exert all possible efforts to return relevant parties to the negotiation table.

On March 20, Sisi and Abbas met in Cairo, where both leaders discussed the latest developments in Palestine in the light of the ongoing Israeli settlement activities.
They also agreed to promote the two-state vision as a way to promote peace in the region.
During a meeting on the sidelines of the Arab Summit on Wednesday, Abbas, Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan stressed the importance of reviving the peace process and the two-state solution to the Palestinian cause.

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