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Abbas, al-Sisi hold 'successful' meeting in Cairo

July 9, 2017 10:03 P.M. (Updated: July 11, 2017 4:23 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday in the Egyptian capital.

An official Palestinian Authority (PA) source told Ma'an that al-Sisi affirmed to Abbas and his delegation -- which included Palestinian chief of intelligence Majid Faraj -- that he "supports the legitimate Palestinian leadership."

The official added that the Palestinian delegation to Cairo described the meeting between the two leaders as "successful."

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Abbas and al-Sisi addressed general developments in Palestine, including ongoing efforts to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in light of "the practices and policies of the Israeli government, particularly the escalating settlement expansion, which is a major obstacle to achieving stability and security in the region."

Abbas reportedly updated his Egyptian counterpart on efforts conducted by US President Donald Trump to reach a two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis, which Abbas said could bring welfare to the region and to coming generations, as well as contribute to international security.

While Trump has maintained on many occasions that, under his auspices, the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be solved, his administration has painted a rather unclear picture regarding Trump’s plans in the region, while a number of high-profile US officials, including Kushner, are known to be staunch supporters of Israel.

Abbas also expressed his condolences to the Egyptian people and leadership over a deadly attack in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday, in which 10 soldiers were killed, adding that the PA would stand by Egypt in the fight against terrorism to maintain Egyptian national security.

Abbas’ visit came as the Hamas movement -- the political rival to the PA -- has also been attempting to tighten relations with Egypt.

With the nomination of Ismail Haniyeh at the head of the resistance group, Hamas’ leadership is now concentrated in the besieged Gaza Strip, leaving the political party is dependent on the goodwill of the Egyptian government to maintain its leaders’ freedom of movement through their shared border, where Cairo has enforced a brutal, decade-long Israeli siege.

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