Egypt's al-Sisi says Israelis 'can be convinced of peace'
Speaking during interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Egypt's president emphasizes importance of US role in renewing Israel-Palestinian peace talks, stresses Arabs 'can convince public opinion in Israel of the advantages of peace,' lauds PA-Hamas reconciliation.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says he believes a solution can reached to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and that the Israeli public can be persuaded into signing a peace agreement, according to an interview published Tuesday in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
“We are trying, together with all sides who can contribute their part to this issue. The United States is the main world power that can steer the peace process toward a better future,” the Egyptian president said during the interview with the Arabic London-based international newspaper on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh.
“We, the Arabs, can convince public opinion in Israel of the advantages of peace. The benefits gained following the agreement between Egypt and Israel are evidence of that. Finding a solution to the Palestinian issue will bring about a new situation in the region. Our brothers in the Gulf states understand this issue,” he said.
Asked whether the Hamas terror movement has changed following the reconciliation agreement recently signed with the Palestinian Authority, al-Sisi extolled the virtues of agreement.
“The reconciliation is an essential and important matter for the Palestinian people. We encouraged and brokered the reconciliation efforts. We believe this is in the interests of the Palestinians,” he stated, before explaining why the region was in desperate need of peace.
“We hope that the results of the reconciliation will serve the path to peace. The region is in need of peace because its absence has cost the region a high price and is draining its energy.”
40 years since Sadat visited Jerusalem
Echoing the sentiments of the Egyptian president, Hazem Khairat, Egypt’s ambassador to Israel, also urged the Israeli public to “continue to be loyal to the forging of peace and security in the entire region.”
Speaking during an interview at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and the Foreign Ministry a conference held in Bar Illan University to mark 40 years since the historic visit paid by the former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem, Khairat called on his listeners to strive for peace.
“We must grant security and stability to Israel and the Palestinians,” he said, pointing out that the reconciliation of Palestinian factions is an important milestone paved on the path toward future peace talks between the two warring sides.
“These efforts must be accompanied by the public and the Israeli academic sphere must lay the groundwork toward reconciliation,” he said.
Khairat went on to say that terror, incitement and settlements in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank all constituted impediments to a successful peace process.
“We must see the wisdom of the statesmen who agreed to go against the odds in order to bring about peace and stability for the countries and the region. In Egypt we learned that we need a statesman and not a politician to make peace,” Khairat concluded.