Egypt’s al-Sisi and CIA’s Burns discuss Gaza ceasefire efforts

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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns on Tuesday discussed efforts to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza war, the Egyptian presidency said.

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“The president affirmed the Egyptian position rejecting the continuation of military operations in the Gaza Strip,” the presidency said in a statement.

Senior US officials were in the region to push for a ceasefire after Hamas made concessions last week, but the Palestinian militant group said a new Israeli assault on Gaza on Monday threatened truce talks at a crucial moment and called for mediators to rein in Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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An Egyptian security delegation will head to Doha on Wednesday “on a mission to bring viewpoints closer between Hamas and Israel in order to reach a truce agreement as soon as possible,” Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News cited a senior source as saying.

Egypt and Qatar have been leading mediating efforts in the nine-month war between Israel and Hamas in hopes of ending the fighting and securing the release of Israeli hostages in exchange of Palestinian prisoners.

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