Posted on Sep 13, 2021
In the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Egypt in a decade, Naftali Bennett has held talks with President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Bennett, who succeeded long-time Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu in June, was invited to visit last month.
Mr Netanyahu was the last Israeli head of government to make an official visit to Egypt in 2011. when he met then-President Hosni Mubarak just over a month before he was ousted by a popular uprising.
The details of Bennett's trip to the Sinai Peninsula on Monday were shrouded in secrecy for security reasons, and his meeting with Mr Sisi was only announced shortly before it started.
An official photograph showed the two leaders sitting closely together in front of their national flags.The BBC's Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says that for President Sisi this was a chance to reassert Egypt's regional role, while Israel's prime minister was looking to show himself as a statesman.
In a statement released by his office after the talks, Bennett said they had "created a foundation for deep ties in the future".
"We discussed a series of issues in the diplomatic, security and economic spheres, as well as ways to deepen ties and strengthen the interests of our countries," he added.
According to a spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, Mr Sisi "affirmed Egypt's support for all efforts aimed to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, based on the two-state solution and in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions, which contributes to enhancing security and prosperity for all the peoples of the region".
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