UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Palestinians to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security.
“I tell the Palestinian people it’s extremely important ... to overcome the differences and not to lose opportunities and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis in safety and security,” Sisi told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders in New York.
Following Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Western-backed Fatah faction, Islamist Hamas said on Sunday it would dissolve its “administrative committee” to enable Abbas’ administration to retake control in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas urged Abbas on Tuesday to respond by ending his sanctions on the impoverished enclave.
Addressing the Israelis, Sisi said: “We have an excellent experience in Egypt in peace with you for longer than 40 years.”
“We can repeat this experience and this excellent step once again - the peace and security of the Israeli citizens together with the peace and security of the Palestinian citizens,” Sisi told the 193-member General Assembly to a round of applause.
Israel and Egypt signed a 1979 treaty that began with overtures toward peace in 1977.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani also appealed on Tuesday, during his speech to the General Assembly, for the Palestinians “to complete national reconciliation and unify positions and words in confronting the dangers and challenges facing the Palestinian cause and the future of the Palestinian people.”
Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Howard Goller