EGYPT: PRES SISI INVITES ABBAS FOR TALKS TO TACKLE JERUSALEM CRISIS

CAIRO, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi invited his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas for talks in Cairo on Monday over the issue of Jerusalem, the Egyptian presidential spokesman said in a statement.

“The talks will address the development related to the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the ways to deal with the crisis in a manner that preserves the rights of the Palestinian people, their national sanctities and their legitimate right to establish their own independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” said Bassam Rady in the statement.

The statement came days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his country’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Egyptian presidential spokesman said that Sisi and Abbas agreed over the phone to strengthen contacts with different international parties to explain the negative effects of the U.S. decision.

Sisi also made a phone call to King Abdullah II of Jordan on Sunday to further discuss the issue of Jerusalem as well as other regional development.

“During the phone talks, the two leaders discussed methods of supporting the Palestinian rights, topped by the right to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Rady said.

Egypt has repeatedly voiced its concerns over the U.S. controversial recognition of the holy city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stressing the move would negatively affect stability in the Middle East region.

Egypt said during a recent UN Security Council emergency meeting that “the position of Jerusalem as an occupied city does not and will not change,” stressing that the UN resolutions and the international community agree that Jerusalem is among the Palestinian territories that have been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Sisi is also scheduled to host Russian President Vladimir Putin in Cairo on Monday. Although their talks will focus on bilateral relations and economic cooperation, experts believe their talks may also cover the U.S. move regarding Jerusalem.

Egypt and Israel reached a U.S.-sponsored peace treaty in 1979, after which Egypt started working on reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and brokering intra-Palestinian reconciliation.

Cairo sponsored in October the signing of a reconciliation agreement between rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas to end their long-time rift and enable a unity government to take over control of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The reconciliation deal has not yet been fully implemented, with both Hamas and Fatah exchanging blame for delay.

The U.S. decision on Jerusalem has been rejected by most states across the world, besides international and regional bodies including the United Nations and the Arab League (AL).

Over the past few days, the AL and most Arab states have been warning against the “dangerous repercussions” of such a U.S. decision on peace, security and stability in the Middle East region and the chances for a settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict emerged since the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the Western-backed creation of Israel in 1948.

Israel is blamed by the international community for the deadlock of the peace process due to its settlement expansion policy, which is rejected even by its strongest ally, the United States.

The Palestinians seek to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital city, in the light of the UN-proposed two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK