In Egypt, Abbas and Sissi discuss Arab support for the Palestinians
search

In Egypt, Abbas and Sissi discuss Arab support for the Palestinians

PA president also said to speak to his Egyptian counterpart about efforts to hold PA elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem

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

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at the World Youth Forum conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on December 14, 2019. (Credit: Wafa)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at the World Youth Forum conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on December 14, 2019. (Credit: Wafa)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi met on Sunday in the Sinai resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh and discussed Arab support for the Palestinians in international forums, the official PA news site Wafa reported.

Abbas arrived in Sharm on Friday to attend the World Youth Forum conference.

“The two leaders talked about the latest developments related to the Palestinian cause in light of the challenges it is facing and the role of the Arab brothers in supporting the Palestinian position in all [international] bodies,” Wafa reported.

Egypt and other Arab states have traditionally backed the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership’s position in international institutions.

In recent years, however, some Arab countries, including several in the Gulf, have publicly expressed and demonstrated greater openness to Israel and hosted Israeli officials for visits. Still, Egypt is one of the sole two countries that maintains a peace treaty with Israel.

The PA president and Sissi last met in late September at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Abbas also spoke to his Egyptian counterpart about efforts to hold PA legislative and presidential elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, the Wafa report said.

The PA president told the UN General Assembly in September that he would call general elections in the near future.

He has since met several times with the head of the PA Central Elections Committee, Hanna Nasser, to discuss the possibility of holding elections, but has yet to set dates for such votes.

Meanwhile, the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, has declared it is ready to participate in elections.

The PA has not held parliamentary or presidential elections since 2006 and 2005, respectively.

The PA and Hamas have been at loggerheads since the latter ousted the former from Gaza in 2007. Multiple attempts to reconcile the two and bring the West Bank and Gaza under a single government have failed.

A number of senior Palestinian and Egyptian officials joined Abbas and Sissi in their meeting, including Egyptian General Intelligence Services chief Abbas Kamel, the Wafa report said.

Kamel has played a key role in advancing informal ceasefire understandings between Israel and Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.

The understandings have largely entailed Israel lifting restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza, in exchange for Hamas maintaining relative quiet in the border region between the coastal enclave and the Jewish state.

The PA has expressed fierce opposition to the understandings, arguing that Hamas does not have the legitimacy to negotiate such agreements with Israel.

read more:
comments