Netanyahu to meet Egypt's Sisi publicly for first time in New York

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Trump, like Israel but unlike Obama, sees Iran as problem in Mideast, not solution.

September 19, 2017 00:08
1 minute read.
Netanyahu to meet Egypt's Sisi publicly for first time in New York

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi attends the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in Xiamen in southeastern ChinaÕs Fujian Province, Sept. 5, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/MARK SCHIEFELBEIN/POOL)

NEW YORK - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet on Monday evening with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in New York, for the first ever public meeting between the two.

The meeting comes as Israel-Egyptian security cooperation is very close, and as Egypt is increasingly involved in efforts to stabilize the situation in Gaza and bring about a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation that would lead to a reassertion of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip.

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That meeting is expected to deal heavily with the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu told reporters at a briefing after his meeting with US President Donald Trump that while the diplomatic process was discussed during their nearly two-hour meeting, the thrust of the conversation was about Iran. He said that both Jerusalem and Washington see the issue from a similar vantage point.

This, he said, was in contrast to the situation under President Barack Obama, whom Netanyahu said saw Iran as a solution to the problems in the Middle East, while Trump – like Israel – sees it as the problem.

Netanyahu said he senses a change in the American government regarding Iran and the Iranian nuclear deal, and that this is also influencing the international community.

The overarching idea is that if the US once again clamps economic sanctions on Iran, which the administration is considering, then the other countries – though they may be opposed to the idea – will have to decide whether they want to do business with the US or Iran.

“The Americans have a desire to fix the agreement, and I offered a plan on how to do it,” he said, without going into detail.

Netanyahu said he expressed his position as “clearly as possible,” that if the agreement is not changed, “it will lead to the nuclearization of Iran.”

The prime minister, who characterized the meeting with Trump as “very positive and friendly,” also said that he had an in-depth conversation with Trump about Syria's designs inside Syria, He said that he made clear Israel's policy of acting against any threat against Israel that may emanate from that country. He said that it was unacceptable for Israel for any permanent Iranian presence anywhere in Syria.

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