Sissi: Egypt will not accept any US plan rejected by the Palestinians

Egyptian president also appears to say Cairo won’t make territorial concessions under future peace proposal

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

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi meeting in Sharm al-Sheikh on November 3, 2018. (Credit: Wafa)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi meeting in Sharm al-Sheikh on November 3, 2018. (Credit: Wafa)

Commenting on the much-delayed US plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said Cairo will not accept any proposal the Palestinians do not accept themselves.

Sissi, who has served as Egypt’s head of state since June 2014, made the comment Sunday after an iftar meal at a Cairo hotel.

“Egypt will not consent to anything that the Palestinians do not desire,” Sissi said on Sunday, according to Reuters’ Arabic-language news site.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he will not accept any American peace plan.

“The deal of the century or the deal of shame will go to hell, if God wills,” Abbas said in a short speech last week at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah, referring to the apparently forthcoming American proposal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will look at the expected US plan with an “open mind.”

The US administration and Bahrain have announced that they will host an economic workshop in Manama in late June that “will facilitate discussions on an ambitious, achievable vision and framework for a prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region.”

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, left, smile during a one year anniversary event for her Be Best initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

US administration officials have said that the Manama workshop will deal with the economic part of the American proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While some Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have announced they will send representatives to the workshop, Egypt has not said whether it intends to do so.

Sissi also appeared to state that Egypt would not make territorial concessions within the framework of an American peace plan.

“You are asking what is the story, what is Sissi planning to do and will he give something to someone,” he said. “Can you imagine that it is possible that I, for example, would give something up?… Okay, why?”

Reuters reported last week that the American peace plan “envisages an expansion of Gaza into part of northern Egypt, under Egyptian control,” citing unnamed Palestinian officials.

Jason Greenblatt, one of Trump’s Middle East peace envoys, said in April that the US does not plan to give part of Egypt to Palestinians.

“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!” he tweeted at the time.

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