Report: Egypt, PA coordinate positions ahead of Abbas, Trump meeting

During a meeting in Cairo, the Abdul Fatah al-Sisi also cited as pledging to Cairo's continued efforts to help formulate a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

April 30, 2017 14:40
2 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas in the Egyptian capital Cairo on November 8. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)

Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday coordinated their positions ahead of the latter's upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington this week, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

During a meeting in Cairo, Sisi was also cited as pledging to Cairo's continued efforts to help formulate a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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The report cited the Egyptian president's spokesperson Alaa Yousi as saying such a peace plan would outline an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad, Palestinian General Intelligence head Majed Faraj and Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Jamal al-Shubki accompanied Abbas on the visit, according to Ma'an.

Abbas for his part allegedly vowed to continue consultations with Egypt, which he said "has been playing a major role in the question of Palestine."

The two leaders met in the Egyptian capital primarily on the premise of discussing the case of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who have engaged in hunger strikes in Israeli jails.

The prisoners, led by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who was convicted of five counts of murder, are demanding that the Israel Prison Service end solitary confinement and administrative detention, increase family visitation rights and improve medical care and amenities. Israel holds that current conditions are in line with international standards.

The strike represents the type of crisis that boxes Abbas in at home, but provides him with significant leverage abroad as he seeks to rebuff US calls to compromise on his conditions for negotiating directly with Israel.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set his side of the table for such a meeting, posting on his Facebook page and Twitter feed a two-minute video clip of Abbas, other Palestinian officials and school-aged children inciting violence against Israelis.

“For peace to come, this must stop,” reads an overhead to the video.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said the clip was put up in order to keep the issue on the agenda when Abbas visits Washington.

Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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