Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry traveled to Paris to hold negotiations with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process as well as negotiating the developments in the Syrian Crisis and the conditions in Libya, reported Arabi21.
At the same time, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited the leader of the Palestinian Authority- Mahmoud Abbas- to begin direct negotiations without preconditions, saying that he is ready for negotiating at any time, according to Arabi 21.
In fact, Netanyahu’s statement came as a reply to the statement of Riyadh AL-Malky, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, on the undertaken efforts to hold a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu, according to the Hebrew Radio. At an earlier time, al-Malky said that the Palestinian Authority is ready to sit on the negotiation table.
Moreover, Sputnik, Russia’s News Agency, has claimed that there will be a meeting between the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon to discuss the possible ways to open negotiations between Palestine and Israel, in an attempt to resume the peace process in the Middle East.
Recently, Egypt has contacted several major international and regional actors to activate the peace process. In this context, Egypt’s FM made two trips to Ramallah in June and Tel Aviv in July, followed by negotiations with US, France and Russia to reach a common ground for opening the way to resume the negotiations.
In an interview with the editors-in-chief of the state-run newspapers, al-Sisi unveiled that the Russian president has invited Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu to hold direct talks in Moscow. Al-Sisi also said that everyone was invited to participate in a peace process, because it was a key to the stability in the region. “Russian President Vladimir Putin informed me about his readiness to accept Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow for direct talks,” al-Sisi said.
In fact, the announcement of Russia’s willingness to host peace has several indications. First of all, it indicated the political deadlock caused by the French initiative. As a result, the Russian appearance as a new actor in the peace process came just days after it was announced that efforts by European diplomats to host a similar meeting in Paris had failed.
Paris, which is sponsoring the international initiative to revive peace talks between the two sides, hosted an international ministerial gathering in June to work towards organizing an international conference to reboot talks by the end of the year. The Palestinians have welcomed the French initiative, whereas Israel is strongly opposed.
Moreover, Russia’s appearance in the peace process infers “further signals of Putin’s ambition for Russia to eventually replace the United States as chief negotiator in the Middle East,” as reported by the Independent newspaper.
On the other side, some political analysts believe that entering Russia as a new player in the peace talks will help achieve both Egypt’s and Israel’s hidden intention to abort the French initiative that has been rejected by Israel.
It has been previously mentioned by Al-Arabi al-Jadeed, citing Egyptian sources, that the Egyptian-Israeli coordination in this regard aims at pushing away the French initiative that was presented at the beginning of this year as Israel wants direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
In this context, it seems that Egypt, which enjoys close ties with Israel under al-Sisi rule, has played a major role in mediating the entrance of Russia, as a political maneuver for Israel’s sake.