Israeli Leaders Congratulate Egyptian President-Elect el-Sisi

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi arrives in a military helicopter before swearing in as Egypt’s new president in a ceremony at the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo on Sunday. (REUTERS/Al Youm Al Sabaa Newspaper)
Former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi arrives in a military helicopter before swearing in as Egypt’s new president in a ceremony at the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo on Sunday. (REUTERS/Al Youm Al Sabaa Newspaper)

The prime minister and president of Israel both spoke with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Friday to congratulate him on his victory in Egyptian presidential elections and to stress the importance of bilateral ties.

The separate phone calls came two days before Sisi’s installment in office on Sunday following his overwhelming electoral victory last month.

Neither Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu nor President Shimon Peres ever spoke with the previous Egyptian head of state, the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, who was toppled from power last year by Sisi following massive street protests.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu noted to the Egyptian president-elect the strategic importance of ties between the two countries and in sustaining the peace accords between them,” the Israeli leader’s office said in a statement.

Peres’s office said that at the end of their conversation: “President Sisi thanked President Peres for his warm words.”

It was not immediately clear if any Israelis would be invited to Sisi’s inauguration. The new Israeli ambassador has not yet presented his diplomatic credentials in Cairo, meaning that he has not been handed an invitation, officials said.