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Egypt’s Sisi calls for Palestinian reconciliation

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi today called for the ending of “the Palestinian division” and for “an immediate” international investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Speaking at the 29th Arab League Summit held in Saudi Arabia, Sisi stressed that the Palestinian issue is “the main focus for the Arab states.”

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been holding each other responsibility for stalling the implementation of the Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement which was signed in Cairo last October.

The continuation the Palestinian conflict with Israel and the division between Palestinian factions, Sisi noted, “threaten Palestinians’ longstanding hope for a state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Read: Egypt stresses importance of Palestinian reconciliation

“Egypt is working with the Palestinian brothers [Hamas and the PA] to end the split,” the Egyptian leader pointed out, adding: “It is time to overcome to unify the Palestinian nation to be able to be able to achieve peace with Israel.”

Peace negotiations have been stalled since April 2014, due to Israel’s refusal to halt settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and to accept east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

“The Arab right to Palestine is a fixed and legitimate right that cannot be rewritten or appropriated,” Sisi stressed, referring to the United States decision on Jerusalem. In December, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set a plan for the move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. The decision sparked outrageous protests in Palestine and across the world.

Read: Egypt court upholds life sentence against Brotherhood leader

Concerns have risen over the implications of Washington’s intention to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next May coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel on the Palestinian territory.

On the Syrian crisis, Sisi expressed his concern over the “current military escalation in Syria,” calling for “an immediate and transparent international investigation” into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.

Sisi remarks came one day after the US, France and the UK launched joint airstrikes on Syria in the wake of a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian regime forces.

Condemning the ballistic missile recently launched across on Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthis, the Egyptian president said: “Egypt will not accept Yemeni elements bombing Saudi territory with ballistic missiles, as this constitutes a threat to Arab national security.”

“Today, we [Arab states] are in need of a comprehensive Arab national security strategy to confront threats and re-establish relations with neighbouring countries,” Sisi explained.

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