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Netanyahu to meet Sisi in Cairo for first official visit to Egypt in a decade

Netanyahu held a public meeting with Sisi in New York in 2017 (The New Arab)

Date of publication: 10 December, 2020

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's touted visit to Cairo to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi could take place in the next few days.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has now invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Cairo for an official visit, the Israel Hayom newspaper revealed in its Thursday edition.

Official sources in Cairo told the Israeli newspaper that although not all the details on the much discussed visit have yet to worked out between Israel and Egypt, it could happen within days.

Netanyahu's arrival in Egypt would mark the first official visit by an Israeli leader in over a decade. His visit would include a formal meeting with President Sisi.

Sisi and Netanyahu's talks would focus on strengthening security cooperation and improving ties between the two countries, the Israeli media reports revealed.

It comes in light of Joe Biden's upcoming presidency and perceived threats from Iran. 

Read more: How Sisi intends to survive the Biden era

Egypt has not confirmed or denied the reports published in Hebrew-language media of Netanyhu's upcoming visit. 

Diplomatic sources in Cairo told The New Arab's Arabic-language service earlier this month that the visit has been on the cards for weeks.

The main issue has been been whether to officially announce the visit.

The source said that Netanyahu would like to announce the visit as the latest step in a series of rapprochements between Israel and various Arab countries.

In September, the UAE became the third Arab country to normalise ties with Israel following peace deals with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Bahrain and Sudan have also agreed to normalise relations, despite an agreement among most Arab states that Israel should only be recognised after an independent Palestinian state is established.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu paid a secret visit to Egypt in May 2018 for talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Channel 10 news reported at the time.

The two have also held public meetings in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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