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Al-Sisi: Israel must recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine

Egypt's former army chief and presidential candidate Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi hinted that he will not receive an Israeli prime minister if Israel does not provide concessions to the Palestinians in peace talks, including agreeing to establish a Palestinian state "with Jerusalem as its capital".

When asked if he would meet Israel's prime minister if he's elected president, Al-Sisi said: "Let them help us with the Palestinians first."

Speaking during his first televised interview since announcing his candidacy for the presidential election, Al-Sisi said "I respect all international treaties, including the peace treaty with Israel".

Egypt was the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 but relations between the two countries remained cold because of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

Al-Sisi refused to answer whether "Hamas was an enemy of Egypt" and refused to link the strained relationship between Egypt and the Islamic movement and the Palestinian cause as a whole, saying "I want to tell the Egyptians, do not allow your feelings towards Hamas affect your historical position towards the Palestinian issue".

Al-Sisi, who ended the rule of elect-President Mohammed Morsi in a military coup in July last year, is believed to be the strongest candidate in the presidential election on May 25 and 26 against rival Hamdeen Sabahi.


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