Middle East

Israeli PM met Egypt's Sisi in secret in Cairo: Report

Israeli leaders secretly traveled to Egypt last year for talks over regional peace plan, Haaretz daily reports

Israeli PM met Egypt's Sisi in secret in Cairo: Report


By Kaamil Ahmed 


Israel's prime minister and opposition leader held a secret meeting in Cairo last year with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss a regional peace plan, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday.

The potential for such a trip had been rumored in the Israeli media at the time, as part of a deal for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring Isaac Herzog's Zionist Union into his coalition, but there has been no report of it actually going ahead.

There was no comment from Israeli or Egyptian authorities on the report.

According to the Haaretz report, regional leaders wanted Herzog involved in the talks because they felt Netanyahu's right-wing government was not capable of making a deal.

The newspaper said talks failed because Netanyahu would not accept the Palestinian conditions. His coalition talks with Herzog also broke down and he instead struck a deal with now Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, creating what was described as the most right-wing Israeli government ever.

Herzog reportedly told a party meeting that the Palestinian demands were not new but were presented as part of a regional solution.

Last year, Netanyahu held another secret meeting with Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan and then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jordan's Red Sea resort of Aqaba.

U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Palestine and Israel collapsed in 2014 over the latter's refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

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