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Egypt's top spy to visit Israel later this month

Egyptian intelligence chief, Abbas Kamel on 20 January 2018 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Egyptian intelligence chief, Abbas Kamel on 20 January 2018 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt's top spy Abbas Kamel will visit Israel later this month for talks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennet and senior officials, Axios reports.

According to Israeli reporter Barak Ravid, who spoke to Kamel on the sidelines of COP26, Kamel told him that Bennett's meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in September in Sharm El-Sheikh was "exceptionally good".

In September Bennett met Al-Sisi in the first official trip by an Israeli head of government to Egypt in a decade.

Egypt said in an official statement that the meeting was to discuss "ways and efforts to revive the peace process" between Israel and Palestine.

At COP26 in Scotland, Kamel also said that relations between Israel and Egypt are going well, and that Egypt speaks to Israel and Palestine every day including about stabilising the ceasefire deal in Gaza.

READ: Egypt looking to strengthen trade relations with Israel

Egypt is working on a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, according to the Axios report. In August Kamel visited Israel to discuss the ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas following the Israeli bombardment on Gaza in May.

Egypt has traditionally played the role of mediator in conflicts between Israel and Palestine and after Gulf states normalised ties with Israel, pushed harder to maintain this role for fear of becoming dispensable.

Analysts also said that Egypt's successful mediation would help mend the relationship between Al-Sisi and US President Joe Biden, who has criticised its ally for extortionate human rights abuses.

Following the war on Gaza and Al-Sisi's mediation efforts, Biden made his first call to the Egyptian president since he took office.

In October it was reported that Egyptian authorities were interested in strengthening trade relations with Israel by increasing the volume of trade exchange through the Nitzana crossing after Kamel met with Israel's Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and discussed ways to support trade and economic relations.

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AfricaEgyptIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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