Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, January 14, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday briefed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi on renewed Palestinian efforts to seek a UN Security Council resolution that establishes a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Abbas, who arrived in Cairo on Tuesday following a visit to Turkey, also briefed Sisi on Israeli measures in Jerusalem, especially “violations” against Islamic and Christian holy sites, according to the PLO’s Wafa news agency.
The agency quoted Abbas as claiming that daily “incursions” by Jews to the Temple Mount were threatening turning the political conflict into a religious one.
The two men also discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip in wake of increased tensions between Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas.
Abbas, the agency said, “thanked Egypt for its ongoing efforts to support the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip.”
Abbas’s meeting with Sisi followed reports that the Egyptian president had met last week with ousted Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan. Dahlan, who is based in the United Arab Emirates, is one of Abbas’s strongest opponents.
Abbas’s aides were said to be enraged over the reports concerning the Sisi-Dahlan meeting.
Nimer Hammad, Abbas’s political adviser, said that the Egyptians told him that the reports were untrue.
However, sources close to Dahlan insisted that the meeting with Sisi did take place. The sources said that Dahlan was working toward persuading the Egyptians to reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip.
Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said after Wednesday’s meeting that Egypt and the PA were continuing to hold consultations about the Palestinian statehood bid at the Security Council and the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Arab League foreign ministers are scheduled to hold a meeting in Cairo on Thursday to discuss the repercussions of the failure of last month’s Palestinian statehood bid at the Security Council.
It’s not clear at this stage if Abbas intends to ask the foreign ministers to back another attempt to win a majority of votes at the Security Council for the proposed Palestinian resolution.