In Cairo, Sissi tells Kushner Egypt supports establishment of Palestinian state
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In Cairo, Sissi tells Kushner Egypt supports establishment of Palestinian state

Egyptian president says his country backs efforts to achieve ‘a just and comprehensive’ solution to Palestinian cause

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, meets with US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, second left, and Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt on the latest stop in a regional tour to discuss a blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, in Cairo, Egypt, on June 21, 2018. (MENA via AP)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, meets with US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, second left, and Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt on the latest stop in a regional tour to discuss a blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, in Cairo, Egypt, on June 21, 2018. (MENA via AP)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state on Thursday, while meeting US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner in Cairo, Egypt’s state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.

Kushner, one of the architects of the US administration’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and other senior American officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday, following meetings a day prior with a handful of regional leaders including Jordanian King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The president affirmed that Egypt supports all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause…based on international references, the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the MENA report stated.

Sissi made the comment two days after US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman resisted backing Palestinian statehood in an interview with CNN, instead stating that the American administration supports Palestinian autonomy.

“We believe in Palestinian autonomy. We believe in civilian self-governance. We believe that autonomy should be extended up until the point where it interferes with Israeli security and it’s a very complicated needle to thread,” Friedman said, when asked if the Trump administration’s peace plan would strive for a two-state solution.

Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, another architect of the US peace plan, have also pushed back against endorsing a two-state solution.

The Old City of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock shrine in the center, on December 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

In May, Kushner told an event at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a US think tank: “If you say ‘two-state,’ it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one thing to the Palestinians. We said, you know, let’s just not say it. Let’s just say, let’s work on the details of what this means.”

The Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership has frequently stated that the only solution to the conflict with Israeli is the two-state formula.

Kushner spoke to Sissi about his communications with “the different parties in the region that seek to advance efforts to renew negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,” MENA added.

Meeting the senior US official in Jordan on Wednesday, King Abdullah also expressed support for the creation of a Palestinian state, Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency reported.

“Discussing efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, King Abdullah reaffirmed the need to achieve just, comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative, international law, and relevant UN resolutions,” the Petra report stated.

The Trump administration revealed the economic portion of its peace plan in May, which includes proposals for more than $50 billion of investment over the next 10 years in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and neighboring Arab countries.

The Palestinians have said that any effort to resolve the conflict should deal with political matters, including the establishment of a Palestinian state, before economic ones.

The Trump administration has said it intends to release the political section of its peace plan, but it has not announced a date for its publication.

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