In his speech at the UN yesterday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi made a passionate appeal to the people of Israel to support their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the sake of building peace and ending the conflict.
Citing Egypt’s 40-year-old peace agreement with Israel as an “excellent example of coexistence”, he said “we can repeat this experience and this excellent step once again. Peace and security of the Israeli citizens together with the peace and security of the Palestinians”.
Addressing “the Israeli public” specifically he said: “Stand behind your political leadership and support them.” “Do not hesitate,” he urged, “and do not hesitate. We are all with you for the success of this attempt and this opportunity may not present itself again.”
Sisi’s comments were made during a 20 minute speech in front of world leaders in New York where he outlined his vision for meeting the challenges of the region. He listed “five principals” to pull the region back from the brink of crises: maintain the integrity of nation states; settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; confronting terrorism; address economic inequality; settle disputes through international law.
Insisting the UN end the longest running conflict for the “sake of its own credibility”, he said: “This chapter of history needs to be closed by creating an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
He stressed that this was vital for the stability of the region and also in denying “terrorists” any excuse to pursue their cause.
Al-Sisi’s speech at the UN followed a meeting with Netanyahu in New York where the two leaders are said to have discussed reviving diplomatic talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It also comes at a time described by analysts as “the highest level” of diplomatic relations between the two countries in their history.