Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week urged for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to restart ‘immediately’, following Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s recent call for a resolution of the conflict.
A statement issued by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office read: “Prime Minister Netanyahu urges PA President Mahmoud Abbas once again to return immediately to the negotiating table to advance the diplomatic process”.
President Sissi told the Associated Press in an interview published on Sunday that efforts should be renewed to solve the Palestinian issue and to expand Egypt’s nearly 40-year peace with Israel to include more Arab countries.
The Egyptian President said that resolving the Palestinian question could “change the face of the region and…bring about enormous improvement to the situation… I’m optimistic by nature and I say that there is a great opportunity”.
During his visit to the UK this month, Mr Netanyahu underlined that he was committed to restarting peace negotiations with the Palestinians: “Anywhere. Anytime. Now. Without preconditions”.
He declared his determination to restart the peace process: “Because I’ve been to war, and peace is better… But in our part of the world, a peace you can’t defend does not last”.
Secret contacts between Netanyahu and Abbas have been taking place for several months, according to recent reports. In April 2014, nine months of US-brokered peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators collapsed after the announcement of a Hamas-Fatah Palestinian unity government.