Netanyahu wants US to help him meet with Morsi, Egyptians say
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Netanyahu wants US to help him meet with Morsi, Egyptians say

Washington not keen to push for a parley between two leaders, claiming ‘timing is not right’

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly pushing Washington to try to set up a meeting for him with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, but the Americans are not in a hurry to agree.

Maariv, citing Egyptian diplomats quoted in the Arabic-language al-Youm al-Saba newspaper, reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry told Netanyahu that “now is not the time” for a meeting.

According to the sources, Netanyahu has tied progress in the peace negotiations with the Palestinians together with achieving a breakthrough in Israel-Egypt relations.

They further said that Washington has asked Morsi to publicly declare Egypt’s commitment to upholding the peace treaty with Israel, to stabilize internal Egyptian politics — including opening a dialogue with the opposition — and to meet with President Shimon Peres.

The Prime Minister’s Office refused to comment on the report.

At the end of April, Egyptian officials told visiting US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that they are indeed committed to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

The Egyptian sources also noted that this week’s meetings between Peres, Kerry, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum conference in Jordan had a strong influence on restarting peace talks, a development that was noted in Cairo.

Some Egyptian officials support putting aside anti-Israel sentiments, at least for the time being, and answering Israel’s calls for high-level meetings, the report revealed.

A Salafist adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi told The Times of Israel on Sunday that he “had no problem” with the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt.

Emad Abdel Ghafour, head of the Salafist Al-Watan party and adviser to President Morsi on social outreach, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum that relations between Israel and Egypt were progressing “as they should.”

Elhanan Miller contributed to this report.

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