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Sisi holds meeting with Netanyahu at UN in first public talks

Sisi meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu in New York in their first public talks. [SIS]

Date of publication: 19 September, 2017

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Sisi met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in New York on Monday to discuss the Middle East peace process in the first ever public meeting between the two leaders.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in New York on Monday to discuss the Middle East peace process in the first ever public meeting between the two leaders.

The leaders have been involved in secret talks in the past, with the Egyptian president joining Netanyahu for talks with then US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016 in a Jordanian hosted summit.

During the talks in New York Sisi emphasised the importance of "resuming negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides to reach a comprehensive solution," a statement from his office said.

The two leaders also discussed "ways to resume the peace process and establish a Palestinian state."

Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying the discussions were "comprehensive" and dealt with the "problems in the region."

Trump also met with Netanyahu on Monday ahead of the UN General Assembly and again expressed hopes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

"We're going to be discussing many things; among them, peace between the Palestinians and Israel -- it will be a fantastic achievement," he said, sitting with Netanyahu.  

Netanyahu thanked Trump for his and the United States' support for Israel, and said he wanted to focus on the Iranian threat and Tehran's growing clout in Syria.

He also agreed to discuss the "opportunity for peace" between Israel and Palestinians and, in his preferred emphasis, "between Israel and the Arab World."

Last month Trump dispatched key US envoys to the Middle East in a bid to revive the peace process, but Palestinian officials have become increasingly frustrated by the White House's ambivalent stance. 

PLO officials are keen to clarify US support for a two-state solution to the conflict, but Netanyahu's right-wing coalition government strongly opposes such a settlement while key members of the Trump administration are decidedly pro-Israel.

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