News / Middle East

Egypt Still Ready to Host Arab-Israeli Talks

In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, escorts Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, right, to a joint press conference, in the presidential palace in Cairo, Aug. 2, 2014.
In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, escorts Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, right, to a joint press conference, in the presidential palace in Cairo, Aug. 2, 2014.
Edward Yeranian

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi has told journalists that the Egyptian peace proposal to end the conflict in Gaza was "still on the table" and that Egypt would like see a rapid conclusion to the violence.

Egypt extended its diplomatic efforts Saturday, despite the ongoing violence in Gaza. An Israeli delegation, which had been expected in Cairo, cancelled its visit, amid the fighting. The arrival of a joint Palestinian delegation, announced last week, has also yet to materialize.

At a joint news conference in Cairo, visiting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi voiced support for a quick conclusion to the hostilities between Israel and the Hamas militant group.

Sissi insisted that there is “no alternative” to the Egyptian peace proposal and that its acceptance at the start of the conflict would have “avoided much bloodshed and loss of life”:

The Egyptian leader said that Egypt's peace plan is "still on the table and capable of solving the conflict" and that efforts have been exerted from the outset with all the parties. He stressed that the proposal was made before Israel began its ground operation and before the loss of many lives.

President Sissi also discussed the deteriorating security situation in neighboring Libya and called on the international community to act to help restore order.

Libya violence increases

He said that as violence intensifies, the international community and Europe, especially, have "moral, humanitarian and security responsibilities" to act. He added that there should be an international strategy to confront the spread of terrorism in the region.

Sissi went on to argue that Egypt's security situation has improved markedly since last year, but that the country remained “at war” as terrorist attacks continue, albeit at a lower level. Mr. Sissi noted that Egypt is facing a growing threat from its border with Libya, due to the “absence of security forces on the Libyan side.”

Well-known military analyst and retired General Sameh Seif el-Yazal tells VOA that "1000 militias and military groups are active in Libya" making it extremely difficult to stabilize and that many of them are funded and have ties to "outside countries and their intelligence services." Egypt's 1049 kilometer border with Libya, he points out, is "controlled by three main groups, two of which are close to the Muslim Brotherhood and one of which has ties to al Qaida."

Seif el-Yazal adds that the Ansar al-Sharia group, which is trying to control Benghazi, is "extremely fanatic... and believes in aggression and killing people." He worries that the group may "in the coming weeks or months form the core of a Libyan version of ISIL," the extremist Islamic group active in Iraq and Syria. Al-Arabiya TV reported that Ansar al-Sharia proclaimed an Islamic Emirate in Benghazi several days ago.

Ansar al-Sharia militants captured a Libyan Army base inside Benghazi earlier this week, forcing troops loyal to retired Army Chief of Staff Khalifa Hafter to retreat. It is not yet clear how badly Hafter's forces have been defeated, but a government security compound was also attacked and set ablaze several times, before much of the structure collapsed.

Meanwhile, Libya's newly elected parliament met for discussions in the eastern city of Tobruk Saturday, postponing its formal inaugural session until Monday. The body's interim speaker, Abu Bakr al-Baiera urged Libyans to “unite” to confront the terrorist threat facing the country:

He said that parliament should unite the nation and put an end to what divides Libyans. He goes on to say that the difficult security situation had prevented some MPs from attending Saturday's session, prompting deliberations to be postponed until Monday.

In other developments, Libyan TV reported that rival militias resumed fighting in the capital, Tripoli, near a fuel depot, which had burned out of control for several days before firefighters finally were able to put it out. The TV report indicated that a mortar round had set part of the depot on fire yet again.



You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Faiyaz Ahmed S M from: India
August 03, 2014 12:48 AM
The present ruling dispensation in Egypt is an unfit mediator between the warring parties. Their apathy towards Hamas and flirtations with the Zionists lobbies in Israel and the U S are too obvious to be overlooked. It is the likes of such regimes who are responsible for the perennial turmoil that the Israelis and Palestinians live with. Such regimes thrive on chaos and reap the benefits that accrue from the slaughter of innocent children, pregnant women and unarmed civilians. If the U S, Israel and Hamas wish to end the bloodshed on both sides, the first step to take is to keep Egypt out of the talks.

by: ed marzouka from: usa
August 02, 2014 4:54 PM
Please don't remove my comment you coward.
How much the Zionist Israel government deposits in Zionist bank of Switzerland for Egyptian President Sissy? Jews are peaceful people

by: meanbill from: USA
August 02, 2014 12:10 PM
The Egyptian al-Sisi offers the same original peace plan that he offered before, (and Hamas rejected it), so why does Sisi keep on offering the same ceasefire plan that Hamas rejected?.... (The Sisi plan, is a Israel and Hamas ceasefire, (and then, and only then), negotiations on ending the blockades and other Palestinian issues).... Morsi trusted Sisi, didn't he?

Hamas told the world;... A ceasefire without Israeli concessions is a surrender, (and all the Palestinians killed by Israel, would have died for nothing), and they'll keep firing those rockets till they run out, and their RPs and AK-47s till they run out of ammunition, and then they'll throw rocks, until the Israeli's lift the blockades, and the Israeli's stop the horrific atrocities and killings against Palestinian civilians, and end their brutal illegal apartheid occupation against the Palestinians...
In Response

by: meanbil from: USA
August 03, 2014 10:15 AM
To A, from Canada..... Hamas has never, ever, ever, ever, ever, asked for a ceasefire, (and they told the world), a ceasefire without Israeli conditions would be a surrender, (and all the Palestinians killed by Israel, would have died for nothing).... (now), what part of that paragraph, don't some people understand?
In Response

by: A from: Canada
August 02, 2014 11:46 PM
Because situations change, and by proposing the same arrangement, al-Sisi is not giving in to Hamas - if they want a ceasefire they will have to give ground.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs