Leaders of Egypt and Israel met for the first time in over a decade Monday


The meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett signaled a significant thaw in a relationship that had been frosty under Bennett’s predecessor, Israeli hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu.

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They met in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to an official statement from the Egyptian presidency.

Egypt’s state television showed both leaders sitting side by side in front of both of national flags, with the Israeli army’s chief of staff and Egypt’s foreign minister and the head of its intelligence service also in attendance.

It was the first official visit by an Israeli premier since 2010, when then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak hosted a summit with Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

El-Sissi told state TV that he and Bennett discussed maintaining the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, in addition to Ethiopia’s dam on one of the Nile River’s tributaries, which Egypt sees as a threat to its water supply.

The Israeli premier, in a statement following the meeting, said he thanked El-Sissi for his country’s role in stabilizing Gaza.

— Agenci

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