|Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry [L] meets Netanyahu in Jerusalem|
Egyptian Foreign Minister Visits Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "Our two nations have been at peace since we concluded our historic peace treaty 37 years ago and the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan are the cornerstone of stability in the region, and are critical assets for our countries. They are also the cornerstones of a broader regional peace and a broader stability that we hope to achieve. To this end I welcome President el-Sisi's recent offer of Egyptian leadership in efforts to advance peace with the Palestinians and a broader peace in our region."
"Today I call again on the Palestinians to follow the greatest example of Egypt and Jorden and join us for direct negotiations."
Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry said: "My visit to Israel today...comes in the context of President el-Sisi's vision, which he elaborated on the 17th of May, for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people, bringing this long conflict to an end. Such a monumental achievement will have a far reaching and dramatic and positive impact."
(Prime Minister's Office)
Egyptian Foreign Minister's Visit Marks a New Level of Cooperation
- Zvi Bar'el
The decision to send Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Jerusalem shows a new level of ties closer to political normalization.
Egypt has concerns that require it to go public with Israel. The first part of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building on the Nile, is expected to be completed next year, and Egypt says it will reduce Egypt's water supply and lower its electricity output by 25-40%. Egypt believes, quite rightly, that Israel has leverage in Ethiopia, and can persuade Ethiopia to coordinate water-sharing with Cairo so Egypt's economy doesn't suffer.
Cairo is also very interested in the renewed ties between Turkey and Israel, which lets Turkey be a major supplier of consumer goods and construction materials to Gaza. Turkey's entrance puts Egypt in an uncomfortable position in which it, with Israel, continues to impose a formal closure on Gaza...
The widening of the Israeli-Egyptian map of political interests, with an economic bonus in the background in the realm of natural gas, is a key development.
Egyptian Minister's Visit: Encouraging Step - Zvi Mazel
The visit to Israel of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry is an encouraging, significant step. The visit is intended to show the world - and especially the Arab world - that Egypt is reclaiming its leading position in the Middle East. The country is now relatively stable: economic growth in 2015 was 4.2%, and similar numbers are expected for the current year.
Shoukry's visit also testifies to the resurgence of the pragmatic alliance comprised of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Jordan to fight Islamic terrorism and Iranian subversive attempts.
The writer served as Israel's Ambassador to Egypt, Sweden, and Romania.