Egyptian leader urges caution for Netanyahu’s new government
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi urged Israel’s hardline new government to refrain from ‘any measures’ that could stoke regional tensions, in a phone call congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his return to power
CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday urged Israel’s new radical government to refrain from “any measures” that could stoke regional tensions, in a phone call congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his return to power.
The leaders spoke days after Netanyahu’s new cabinet was sworn in, promising in his coalition directives to make settlement construction in the occupied West Bank a top priority.
According to a statement from the Egyptian leader’s office, el-Sisi stressed “the need to avoid any measures that could lead to a tense situation and complicate the regional scene”.
El-Sisi also said his government would continue its efforts to “maintain calm” between Israel and the Palestinians, the statement added.
Netanyahu’s office said the two leaders discussed Egyptian-Israeli relations and stressed “the importance of promoting peace, stability and security for the benefit of both peoples and all peoples of the Middle East.” .
Netanyahu returned to power on Thursday for an unprecedented sixth term as Israeli prime minister, taking over the helm of the most right-wing and religiously conservative government in the country’s 74-year history.
The expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank could heighten already growing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians and upset the international community. Much of the world views settlements built on land sought by Palestinians as illegal and an obstacle to peace.
Egypt and Israel reached a historic peace agreement in 1979. Relations have generally been calm between the countries, although behind-the-scenes security cooperation remains strong. Signs of global cooperation have multiplied in recent years.
In 2021, then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met el-Sisi in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, in the first official visit to Egypt by an Israeli prime minister in more than a decade. .
The two Middle Eastern countries also signed an agreement with the EU in June to increase sales of liquefied natural gas to European countries in a bid to reduce their dependence on supplies from Russia amid the crisis. war in Ukraine.
Egypt has also served for years as a key mediator between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Bitter enemies have fought four wars since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 – most recently an 11-day conflict in May. Egypt worked quietly to arrange a long-term truce.