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September 2, 2020 1:24 pm

In Call With Netanyahu, Egypt’s Sisi Says Israel-UAE Normalization Deal ‘Step in the Right Direction’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in New York, Sept. 18, 2017. Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone on Wednesday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the recently‐announced normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates was a prominent agenda item.

According to the Israeli news site Walla, Sisi called the Israel‐UAE deal “a step in the right direction.”

Sisi also told Netanyahu that Egypt opposed the potential annexation of any parts of the West Bank by Israel, and he emphasized the necessity continuing to work toward the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Sisi also commented on the situation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, saying Israel and the Palestinians “must remain committed to calm” there.

Egypt — which in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel — often serves as a mediator when violence flares up in Gaza, as it did in recent weeks.

A statement put out by Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli leader had thanked Sisi for Egypt’s “support in advancing stability in the region, especially in Gaza, and asked that he continue assisting in the return of our prisoners and our missing.”

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