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Abbas meets Sisi and Egypt president in Cairo

Nov. 10, 2013 7:18 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 10, 2013 10:50 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) – President Mahmoud Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart Adly Mansour met Sunday in Cairo and discussed the latest political developments in the region, focusing on ongoing peace negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Abbas updated Mansour on the ongoing settlement expansion and Israel's escalating violence against the Palestinian people, according to news agencies' reports. The Palestinian president also briefed Mansour on the results of his latest meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The two also addressed Egypt's efforts to end the divisions between Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah and finalize a reconciliation deal between the rival movements.

Other Palestinian and Egyptian officials joined the meeting later on.

The Palestinian president later held talks with Egypt's Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, head of the Egyptian armed forces and a major power-broker since the army overthrew democratically-elected President Morsi in a July coup.

A spokesperson for the Egyptian president's bureau Eyhab Badawi said in a statement Sunday that he welcomed the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the patronage of the United States.

The statement highlights that Egypt is worried and "suspicious" about the outcome of negotiations in light of the ongoing Israeli settlement expansion "which is destructive to peace opportunities."

Israeli forces' repeated "provocative acts and incursions" into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound have had a negative impact on the peace process as well, the Egyptian statement continued.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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