Causing friction with Egyptian President al-Sissi, the PA autocrat Abbas rejected the Arab led regional peace summit, using Israel as an excuse, spouting, ‘Israel wasn’t serious about peace’.
Palestinian President Mahmuod Abbas opposed attempts made last year to hold a regional peace summit hosted by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi with the participation of other Arab leaders, Haaretz reported Sunday.
Palestinian sources told Haaretz that an offer made by President Sissi to host a summit in Egypt angered President Abbas as he thought the Israeli government would not be serious about the peace initiative in negotiations. The sources also said Abbas opposed a Paris peace summit.
The plan for a regional summit drove a wedge between Abbas and Sissi, leading the Egyptian leader to ban Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub from entering Egypt, according to Haaretz.
On Sunday, reports surfaced that Netanyahu and Herzog had planned to submit a plan for a regional peace summit to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and potentially Jordan’s King Abdullah II at a meeting in Cairo or Sharm el-Sheikh slated for the month of October of last year.
The October summit would have taken place seven months after a secret summit that Netanyahu held with the Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, as well as then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba.
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“Unfortunately, Sissi agreed to play this game, and Kerry, who knew he was nearing the end of his own term, sought to present some kind of achievement,” a senior Palestinian official told Haaretz.
“To the Palestinian leadership it was clear that there was no intent to advance a move like this and this compartmentalization, as if such a dramatic move could be led through Egypt, was a fundamental error by Egypt and also by Kerry,” the official said.
After returning from the October meeting in Egypt, the prime minister and opposition leader were to reveal that they were beginning talks on forming a unity government, said Haaretz.
However, said the paper, the prime minister began to step back and the plans fell apart and were abandoned as tensions inside Israel rose over the fate of the wildcat Amona outpost in the West Bank.
Netanyahu has been receptive to the idea of holding Egyptian-hosted talks with Abbas, and Israeli media reported last September that a delegation of Israeli officials met with Egyptian counterparts in Cairo to discuss the prospect.
There have also been numerous reports of the Prime Minister and Herzog mulling the options of forming a unity government. One such report circulated Israeli media in early October, however, Herzog denied the reports as “absolutely false.”
After obtaining the document, Haaretz contacted both the Prime Minister’s office and the office of the opposition leader.
The prime minister’s office denied the report as “false from the ground up,” while Herzog’s office offered no comment.
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