Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday 13 September 2021 at the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh. The visit marked the first of its kind by an Israeli PM to Egypt in over a decade.
The meeting was confirmed in advance by Cairo and the Al-Sisi cabinet, but no confirmation had come through from Tel Aviv. The talks commenced shortly after announcement by Egyptian state media to the general public.
Details of the meeting were undisclosed, due to security concerns, though it was noted that President Al-Sisi and Bennett would discuss region-wide concerns, including the prospects of a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement in the near future.
Bennet has in the past voiced opposition for a two-state solution, as a nationalist politician, but is not opposed to the revival of the Gaza Strip. Egypt had taken proactive measures brokering a ceasefire between millitant Israeli and Palestinian forces in May, and continues to call for peace despite the rise in “cross-border violence.”
Bennett succeeded former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, earlier in June of 2021. Netanyahu was the last to visit Egypt back in 2011. However, according to BBC News, Bennett is reported to have held unofficial meetings with President Al-Sisi in 2018.
ABC News reports that Israeli officials have been holding such covert meetings with Arab leaders for years. This transparency, amid tense times, is a cornerstone of global discussion.