TEL AVIV (JTA) — Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi reportedly is coaxing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet face to face.
Sissi, according to Ynet News, is hoping to organize an Egypt-led peace summit in Cairo where the two leaders, who haven’t met formally since 2010, would negotiate directly. Sissi’s efforts come as France is organizing an international Israeli-Palestinian peace summit to take place in the fall.
Sissi has been advocating a fresh round of talks recently and has made contact with both sides regarding his initiative; neither has declined. He could be in a unique position to influence both leaders, according to Ynet, because of Egypt’s strong diplomatic ties to the P.A. and close security cooperation with Israel.
“There is a real opportunity for peace even if in the short term there is no real basis given the conditions in the region,” Sissi said on Egyptian television, according to Ynet.