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Rebooting Palestinian-Israeli Peace Talks on El Sisi’s and Trump’s Agenda

April 5, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Trump Administration has moved to revive the Arab peace initiative put forward back in 2002 which would lay the basis for restarting talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. Arab media sources—the Egyptian Al Ahram, in particular—reports that the Trump administration had requested the revival of the initiative, which was re-endorsed by the Arab Summit held last month in Jordan.

The London-based Saudi daily Al Hayat claims that at the meeting held on Monday between U.S. President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the possibility of holding an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in the United States this summer was discussed. Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, reportedly raised the initiative with Arab officials.

"One of the ideas that was raised in the Egyptian-American meetings in Washington is holding a peace summit hosted by the United States this summer,"

American sources told Al Hayat.

Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states would be expected by the Trump Administration to convince the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

King Abdullah II of Jordan was in Washington at the same time and met with el-Sisi and met with Trump on April 5 with Middle East peace on the agenda.

Egypt’s Al Ahram reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in process of preparing to travel to Washington to meet Trump administration officials, if not Trump himself.

In a follow-up to Egyptian President el-Sisi’s one-on-one meeting with Trump, his delegation met with Trump’s security team, including National Security Adviser Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster. El-Sisi told McMaster that he looks forward to a "fresh start" of Egyptian-U.S. ties following "fruitful" talks in Washington with the U.S. President a day earlier. He also said that security cooperation is an "important pillar of relations between the two countries," a statement by el-Sisi’s office said.

The statement quoted General McMaster as saying that he looks for "intensified coordination with Egypt in combating challenges in the Middle East and means to reach solutions that help restore stability in the region."

On the same day, el-Sisi met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, in which meeting he said Egypt is keen on coordinating and consulting with Jordan periodically on different issues. El-Sisi expressed his intent to follow up on the implementation of decisions related to joint Arab cooperation that were adopted at the recent summit that was held in Jordan.

El-Sisi met Tuesday with a number of congressmen, including Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan and Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

During his meetings, el-Sisi underlined the importance of reaching a comprehensive political settlement fair to the Palestinians. He also stressed the importance of the United States’ role in reviving peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.