Egypt's El Sisi meets Palestinian leader and Algerian foreign minister before Arab summit

Arab foreign ministers gather in Cairo for meeting expected to focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Libya

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Reuters
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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Tuesday met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, in the lead up to the Arab summit due to be held in Algiers in November.

The leaders held discussions as Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo for a meeting that was expected to focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the deadlock in efforts to end the political and security crises in Libya as well as preparations for the forthcoming summit.

Mr Lamamra delivered to Mr El Sisi an official invitation for the November summit, the Egyptian presidency said. The pair also discussed Libya, Syria and Iraq.

Both Egypt and Algeria have porous desert borders with Libya, where violence recently erupted between rival militias in the capital Tripoli, amid a political stalemate that grew out of the country’s failure to hold elections as scheduled last December.

Libya’s continuing deadlock stemmed in part from the refusal by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who led the transitional government, to step down.

In response, the country’s east-based parliament appointed a rival prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.

The meeting between Mr El Sisi and Mr Abbas focused on the “latest developments in the Palestinian issue”, the Egyptian president's office said.

Egypt has historically played a pivotal role in efforts to mediate in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It has in recent years taken centre stage as the main regional mediator between Israel and the militant Hamas group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

These mediation efforts have most recently enabled the two sides to agree to a truce after an 11-day war in May last year and again last month.

Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, shares a border with both the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Updated: September 06, 2022, 3:38 PM