Egypt's president to visit Washington in April

Posted March 20, 2017

President Mahmoud Abbas discussed on Monday with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi the recent developments in Palestine amid the increasing Israeli settlement activities and the stalled peace process.

Following his Monday meeting with al-Sisi, Abbas departed Cairo after a two-day visit.

Relations between Cairo and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have been tense over a range of issues, including Egypt's contacts with Gaza's Hamas rulers and other factions that are at odds with Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

At the meeting, al-Sisi also confirmed "Egypt's desire to reach a just solution based on an independent Palestinian state established on June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital", according to a statement issued by Egypt's presidency. The upcoming visit will be the first for Al-Sisi to the US since he took office in 2014. In 2013, shortly after Sisi and the Egyptian army ousted then-Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Obama suspended American military aid to Egypt.

The summit came after US President Donald Trump president waded into the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sending one of his top advisers to the region last week for talks with Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Egypt and the United States have been close allies for most of the almost 40 years since Cairo signed a peace treaty with Israel, with Egypt becoming the second largest recipient of USA aid after Israel, with some US$1.3 billion annually in military aid.

In January Trump pledged in a phone conversation with Sisi that the United States remained committed to bilateral ties with Egypt.