World Media

After the visit: Egypt coordinates with Palestine, plans Al-Sisi-Netanyahu meeting


"It confirms the change that has commenced in Israeli-Egyptian relations, and includes President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi's call to speed up the peace process with Arab countries and Palestinians as well".

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry heads to Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. France organized a peace conference that met in June, though Netanyahu rejected the French initiative, and neither Israel nor the PA were invited to the conference's meeting in Paris.

Shoukry's trip to Israel comes after he visited the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 29.

Egypt was the first of a handful of Arab countries to recognize Israel with a U.S.-sponsored peace accord in 1979, but Egyptian attitudes to their neighbor remain icy due to what many Arabs see as the continued Israeli occupation of land that is meant to form a Palestinian state.

"As with all the previous instances, when allegations were made against the prime minister that turned out to be baseless, nothing will come of this - because there's nothing there", the Israeli media quoted a Netanyahu spokesman as saying.

There was speculation in Israel that it might be preferable to wait for a new USA administration and not sign an MOU with the current one in the hope of receiving a more generous aid package.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who already has observer status at the African Union, will attend a summit meeting next week in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, his office said.

Egypt supports both the Palestinian and the Israeli side to restore the peace talks, affirmed Shoukry, pointing that the starting point should be the adherence to worldwide resolutions, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.

Netanyahu and Shoukry also discussed Hamas, the fight against Islamic State, and coordination in the effort to recover debris from EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last May under mysterious circumstances. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Shoukry's visit was aimed at reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

There have been repeated warnings that Israeli settlement building and Palestinian attacks are eroding the possibility of a two-state solution, especially with peace efforts at a standstill since April 2014.

Also on Sunday, Israeli forces arrested at least 16 Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, local media reported.

"Such a monumental achievement would have far-reaching, dramatic and positive impact on the overall conditions in the Middle East region..."

Israel's government on Sunday approved almost $13 million in financing for the West Bank settlements of Kiryat Arba and within Hebron, officials said.