Days after al-Sisi met US Jewish group, King Abdullah II of Jordan arrived in Cairo in an official one-day visit last Tuesday to discuss several regional issues and cooperation with Egypt.
Following his arrival, Al-Sisi accompanied Abdullah to the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis suburb.The last official visit for King Abdullah to Egypt was in August 2016.
The visit included discussions that the sake of strengthening cooperation as well as tackling regional issues of common interest, namely the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the upcoming Arab League summit that is to be held in Jordan in March.
Prior to the Jordanian King’s visit, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met representatives from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
During the meeting al-Sisi said that reaching an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of his top priorities.
In addition, he told the delegation of US Jewish groups that reaching a peace deal would remove a main impetus behind terror attacks .
He also noted that a regional peace would bring a new reality, enabling cultural and economic development for countries in the area.
In addition, the meeting also issued the Egypt’s efforts in counter terrorism and the general social, political, and economic condition in the country, in addition to Egypt’s visions to resolve the crises that the Middle East currently faces.
In fact, the US Jewish delegation visit aimed to work at improving ties between the US and Egypt, according to a statement from the Egyptian Presidency.
In December 2016, a delegation from the American Jewish Committee visited Egypt and held meeting with Al-Sisi and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, where Al-Sisi stressed Egypt’s eagerness to enhance bilateral relations with the US during their meeting.
Signs of a strong alliance between US new administration and al-Sisi regime have been obvious since Trump campaign in the US elections.
Al-Sisi was one of a few world leaders Trump requested to meet when he was a candidate on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.
During their meeting,Trump also expressed to al-Sisi “his strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism, and how under a Trump administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead.”
Moreover, al-Sisi was among the first World Leader to congratulate Trump to congratulate him on his victory.
Later on Sunday, the delegation set off a four-day mission to Israel, after some delegates visited Morocco and Egypt.
In fact al-Sisi’s meeting last Sunday came amid an Israeli media report detailed a” secret summit” between Al-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah and US secretary of state John Kerry last year aimed at cobbling together a regional peace initiative.
According to Israel’s Haaretz daily newspaper, “A year ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan in a failed attempt by the Obama administration to convene a wider regional summit on Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
Haaretz cited an unidentified senior officials in former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, who said that Netanyahu, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, Jordan’s King Abdullah and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convened on February 21, 2016 in the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba.
But, the initiative to include other Arab states in the pursuit of peace with the Palestinians ultimately gradually ended , the newspaper said, “after Netanyahu withdrew his initial support, pointing to opposition within his right-wing government.”
Haaretz said that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not attend the Aqaba meeting but was updated by Kerry.
A cabinet member, who was present at a meeting with ministers from his Likud party and preferred to remain anonymous, said that Netanyahu acknowledged the meeting took place, though he said it was his own initiative to try and bring about a regional summit.
In this context, a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minster declined to comment on the report. Sisi’s office issued a statement referring to the news report, though it did not name Haaretz, as having “incorrect information” , however, it did not deny that a meeting took place.
The Egyptian presidency only said that“Egypt spares no efforts to reach a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue, based on the two-state solution and the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent state along the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, without any political outbidding.”
No immediate comment was available from Jordan.
There is no doubt that al-Sisi’s meeting with US delegation and King Abdullah II at the same week in Cairo infer the possibility of an upcoming development on the Palestinian arena or a new initiative,especially that al-Sisi also met with the Jewish group last year shortly before the secret summit.