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Netanyahu to visit Egypt in first official visit in decade

December 10, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on 13 September 2020 [YOAV DUDKEVITCH/POOL/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing to visit Egypt in what will be the first official visit by an Israeli leader in a decade, reports the Times of Israel.

According to the the Times of Israel, Netanyahu made a secret visit to Egypt in 2011 to meet then President Hosni Mubarak and another unofficial visit to meet Al-Sisi in 2018 for iftar.

The two have met publicly several times on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

On Thursday, Israel Hayom reported that Al-Sisi had invited Netanyahu and that talks held during his meeting would cover strengthening security and diplomatic ties.

The leaked news said that Al-Sisi will personally welcome Netanyahu at the airport in an official ceremony with the Egyptian and Israel flags side by side following Joe Biden’s win at the US presidency polls.

READ: Sisi: Our priority is to fight political Islam, Muslim Brotherhood

The two will discuss “countering Iran’s threat in the region” in view of the possibility that Biden will seek a new deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme scrapped by his predecessor Trump.

The meeting follows the normalisation of relationships between Israel and the UAEBahrain and Sudan.

Egypt was the first country to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979. Whilst Mubarak maintained a cold peace, Al-Sisi has considerably warmed relations to the extent that it has been described as the golden era of Israeli-Egyptian relations.

There was an outcry in Egypt after it transferred the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, opening up the Straits of Tiran to Israel.

The Egyptian and Israeli armies are cooperating in the Sinai Peninsula over the “war on terror” in the region under which the Egyptian army has been accused of committing war crimes.