Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Sunday affirmed that “the peace agreement with Israel is stable and permanent” and said most Egyptians support the nearly 40-year-old treaty.
Speaking at the World Youth Forum 2018 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Sissi added that when former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat “raised his idea of peace, no one thought that this idea would one day be acceptable in the general opinion,” according to a translation of his remarks published in Hebrew media.
Sadat made peace with Israel at the US presidential retreat Camp David on September 17, 1978. The accords, cemented by a peace treaty in 1979, saw regional powerhouse Egypt temporarily shunned by the rest of the Arab world.
Sadat was assassinated on October 6, 1981.
Sissi’s comments came as Khaled Azmi, the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, arrived in the country on Sunday, according to an Egyptian diplomat. He is to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday.
In late August, the Egyptian government appointed Azmi, who previously served as the director of the counterterrorism unit in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, as its new top diplomat in Israel.
Egypt has been working to try and broker a return to calm between Israel and the Gaza Strip where months of deadly border clashes have at times nearly brought Hamas and Israel to war. As part of the arrangement, Cairo is seeking a reconciliation between the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terror group which seized Gaza from the PA in 2007 in a coup that deeply divided the two leading Palestinian parties.
The Israel-Gaza border violence has simmered down over the past week amid reports that a long-term ceasefire agreement — at least between Israel and Hamas — is close.