Egypt FM calls for 2-state solution on Israel visit

The Egyptian foreign minister is on a rare trip to Jerusalem, the first such visit since 2007

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Egypt remains a “steadfast and unwavering” supporter of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Egyptian foreign minister said on Sunday.

Sameh Shoukry made the remarks as he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a rare visit to Israel, aimed at reviving the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

In a press conference with Shoukry, Netanyahu called on the Palestinians “to follow the courageous example of Egypt and Jordan and join us for direct negotiations.”

Shoukry’s trip to Israel is the first such visit since 2007. It comes after he visited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 29.

It also follows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments in May that there was a “real opportunity” for an Israeli-Palestinian deal that could lead to warmer ties between his country and Israel.

Sisi urged Israelis and Palestinians to seize what he said was a “real opportunity” and hailed his own country’s peace deal with Israel.

In 1979, Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel after years of conflict, and it remains an influential player in the region.

In June, representatives from 28 Arab and Western countries, the Arab League, European Union and the United Nations met in Paris to discuss ways in which the international community could help advance the Palestinian-Israel peace process.

(with AFP and the Associated Press)

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