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Israeli, Egyptian FMs speak on direct flights, avoiding ‘unilateral steps’ on Temple Mount

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, speaks during remarks at the Negev Summit, March 28, 2022, in Sde Boker, with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, at left. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, speaks during remarks at the Negev Summit, March 28, 2022, in Sde Boker, with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, at left. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks by phone with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, in what Israel calls “a warm conversation.”

According to the Foreign Ministry, the two agree to expand security and economic cooperation and to meet in person in the near future. Cohen notes his intention to push for expanded cooperation in aquaculture, renewable energy and tourism.

Cohen also stresses the importance of direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, an initiative he advanced as intelligence minister.

The Egyptian version of the conversation, unsurprisingly, has a different focus. It notes that Shoukry stresses “the importance of working seriously to revive the peace process as soon as possible.”

Shoukry also says peace requires the suspension of unilateral measures, and underscores the need to preserve the legal and historical status quo on the Temple Mount. This comes after several incidents at the Jerusalem holy site that have angered Palestinians and neighboring Arab states.

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