Netanyahu preparing for official visit to Egypt - report
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, September 26, 2018
(photo credit: GPO)
In the future, a bilateral meeting is planned between the economic delegations of Israel and Egypt.
The thawing of relations with the Arab world is also occurring in Egypt, political sources have told Maariv, sister publication of The Jerusalem Post. Following normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which will focus mostly on the economy, Jerusalem is beginning to also work on strengthening economic relations with Egypt.Officials from both countries are currently in talks ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reported visit to Cairo in the coming weeks, during which he will meet with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In the future, a bilateral meeting is planned between the economic delegations of Israel and Egypt, where joint economic projects and the promotion of business relations between the two countries will be discussed.
Netanyahu has a history of meetings with Egyptian leaders. In 2010, he met then-president Hosni Mubarak. The two discussed attempts to open direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The visit took place in a tense atmosphere, following the call of then-foreign minister Avigdor Liberman for a complete disengagement of Israel from the Gaza Strip. Shortly afterwards, Mubarak was overthrown.Another visit to Cairo was planned by Netanyahu’s office in the winter of 2016, about two years after incumbent president Sisi came to power. The visit was canceled by the Egyptians following statements by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, according to whom Egypt flooded Hamas tunnels at Israel’s request.In September 2017, Netanyahu and Sisi were scheduled for a brief meeting in New York. Only the Egyptian flag was placed behind the leaders. Sisi said at the beginning of the meeting: “Thank you very much for coming to the meeting with the distinguished guests.” A spokesman for the Egyptian president said the meeting only dealt with ways to renew the peace process.In May 2018, it was reported that Netanyahu and Sisi met secretly in Egypt. According to various sources, Netanyahu flew to Egypt with a small number of advisers and security guards, stayed there for several hours and attended a meal breaking the Ramadan fast.This time, according to political sources, Netanyahu intends to arrive in Cairo openly, and deal mainly with economic issues.