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February 14, 2022 12:07 pm
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Egyptian President Sisi at Cairo Conference Crosses Room to Greet Israeli Energy Minister

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi greets Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar at a regional conference in Cairo, Egypt on Feb. 14, 2022. Photo: Instagram

In an unusual move, at an energy conference in Cairo on Monday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi crossed the large hall in order to greet and converse with Israel’s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar.

El-Sisi told Elharrar that he was very happy she was attending the conference, and that he hoped she would visit Egypt again, according to Israeli news site Walla.

Elharrar arrived in Egypt on Sunday to attend the conference, which includes representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa for discussions on gas, oil, and other energy issues. Besides Israel, the summit included the UAE, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, and others.

Elharrar will take part in a panel consisting of government ministers and meet with her various counterparts.

Sisi is reportedly increasing Egypt’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in hopes of stabilizing the security situation between Israel and Gaza.

This includes help in reconstruction efforts in Gaza and direct financial aid.

The Gaza war last May “allowed Egypt to once again market itself as an indispensable security partner for Israel in the region … which in turn makes it an indispensable security partner for the US,” Hafsa Halawa, an expert on Egypt at the Middle East Institute, a Washington think tank, told the Associated Press.

“Gaza is a reminder to everybody, effectively, that you can’t really do anything without Egypt,” he said.

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