Sisi Invites Abbas to Cairo

YERUSHALAYIM -
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. (Egypt State TV via Reuters)

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Cairo on Monday to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, in a statement issued by the president’s office on Sunday.

According to the statement, Sisi wants to discuss “ways to deal with the crisis in a manner that preserves the rights of the Palestinian people and their national sanctities and their legitimate right to establish an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

During his stay in Paris on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also invited Abbas to meet with him anytime to discuss peace.

Meanwhile, relations between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration were also in turmoil over Vice President Mike Pence’s scheduled trip to the region. The White House on Sunday rebuked the Palestinians for refusing to meet with Mr. Pence in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, according to Reuters.

Deputy chief of staff Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for Mr. Pence said, “It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region, but the administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan.”

However, the PA took pains to clarify that ties with the U.S. had not been severed.

A senior adviser to Abbas said on Sunday that they were only “interrupted.”

“We are not cutting our relationship with America. We are protesting the move of Mr. Trump,” Abbas’s foreign affairs adviser Nabil Shaath told The Times of Israel in a phone interview.

“We think Mr. Trump has acted in a way that makes it impossible for the United States to act as an honest broker. We are just expressing that,” Shaath said, adding that other lines of communication with Washington remain uninterrupted.

“We still have a delegation in Washington. There are matters with which communication is still continuing. Communication about the peace process is interrupted,” Shaath said.