Bennett urges Egyptian president to assist in returning Israeli captives in Gaza

The Israeli prime minister thanked his Egyptian counterpart for his important role in establishing regional stability, security and peace, as well for his role in mediating between the Jewish State and the Palestinians.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi spoke over the phone on Monday, covering “a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office read.

The phone call was Bennett’s first conversation with Al-Sisi since assuming office two weeks ago, on June 13.

During their conversation Bennett raised the issue of returning the Israeli captives held by Hamas in Gaza, considered a burning issue on the Israeli agenda, while Al-Sisi talked about the importance of renewing the peace process with the Palestinians.

Both leaders praised the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, reached via American mediation in 1979. Tweeting about the phone call, Bennett called the peace between the two countries “a cornerstone of Middle East stability for over 40 years.”

 

 

The Israeli prime minister thanked his Egyptian counterpart for his important role in establishing regional stability, security and peace, as well for his role in mediating between the Jewish State and the Palestinians, and implored him to continue his effort of advancing the issue of Israeli captives in Gaza.

Al-Sisi replied by stressing the importance his administration views in maintaining the cease-fire in Gaza and providing humanitarian aid, with the general goal of improving the lives of the local population.

Other issues raised in the conversation included the promotion of economic and civil cooperation between Israel and Egypt, considered less developed than the military cooperation, referred to as “unprecedented” by Al-Sisi in the past.

Finally, the leaders agreed to meet in person in the near future.

Monday’s phone call was held as Al-Sisi was visiting Iraq, the first visit of an Egyptian president since 1990, when then president of Iraq Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, marking the beginning of a decades-long conflict with Egypt.

However, this has changed in recent years, as the US has been pressuring Iraq to strengthen ties with other Arab countries in the region in order to counter Iran’s influence.

Al-Sisi’s visit to Iraq was part of a summit being held in Baghdad between Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, meant to deepen a regional alliance through economic and civil collaborations.