Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered to act as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday, an overture that immediately drew favorable responses from both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog.
“If we can all join forces in order to solve the Palestinian issue by creating hope for Palestinians and assuring security for Israelis, we will be able to write a new chapter that may prove to be more important than the peace accords between Israel and Egypt,” al-Sisi said on Tuesday during an inauguration ceremony for a new power plant in the Egyptian city of Asyut.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the offer, saying he was “encouraged” by the overture.
“Israel is ready to participate with Egypt and other Arab states in advancing both the diplomatic process and stability in the region,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “I appreciate President el-Sissi’s work and am encouraged by the leadership he has shown on this important issue.”
Al-Sisi noted the historic 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel as proof that a lasting truce can be held. Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a treaty with the Jewish state, and is Israel’s longest ally in the Middle East.
In his speech, al-Sisi said that treaty “wrote a bright chapter in the region’s history.”