At UN, Sissi urges Israel to ‘move toward peace’
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At UN, Sissi urges Israel to ‘move toward peace’

Straying from his written speech, Egyptian president says he sees ‘a real opportunity to write a bright page in the history of our region’

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Egypt’s president has urged Israel and the Palestinians to look to the “wonderful” example set by his country and the Jewish state and agree on a solution that lets them exist in peace as two neighboring states.

Speaking Tuesday to the UN General Assembly, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi described the Israel-Egypt model as “a real opportunity to write a bright page in the history of our region to move towards peace.”

He asked delegates to “permit me to deviate from the written statement to address an appeal to the Israeli leadership and Israeli people,” adding that a successful bid would bring “prosperity and peace to both the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Sissi said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was at “the core of regional instability” and called for a settlement based on a two-state solution leading to a Palestinian state.

The first Arab country to make peace with Israel – the only other one is Jordan – Egypt has stepped up its diplomacy in recent months to try to re-start Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The peace process has been comatose since the collapse of a US-led initiative in April 2014.

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