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Sullivan stresses Biden’s support for two-state solution in Sisi meeting

CM 30/09/2021

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White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and other officials, emphasized President Joe Biden’s support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
“Sullivan emphasized President Biden’s lifelong commitment to a two-state solution and the importance of tangible steps to improve the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza while developing an atmosphere conducive to political talks,” the official said.
Biden has persistently spoken of the importance of two states but has not put forward any peace process to achieve that outcome.

Sisi’s office said that the Egyptian president spoke with Sullivan about the need to arrive at a two-state resolution, explaining that it could “have a huge impact on changing the situation on the ground in the entire Middle East.”
The two men also spoke of the importance of Gaza reconstruction. Egypt’s role in brokering a ceasefire in Gaza following 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel in May earned it recognition at a time when it was struggling to strike a rapport with Biden’s administration amid differences on human rights.
The Biden administration said this month it would withhold $130 million worth of military aid to Egypt until Cairo took specific steps on rights. Human rights groups that had called on Washington to block $300m. in aid expressed disappointment.
On Wednesday, Sullivan reaffirmed Biden’s commitment with Sisi to “a constructive dialog on human rights,” the senior administration official said.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on September 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on September 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS)

The delegations discussed “the importance the United States places on securing tangible and lasting improvements in human rights, and in this regard, specific steps in connection with US security assistance for Egypt,” the official added.
A statement from Egypt’s presidency made no mention of human rights.
Under Sisi, there has been a far-reaching crackdown on political dissent, which activists say has left tens of thousands jailed. Sisi denies there are political prisoners in Egypt and says the state is providing rights by promoting economic and social development.
Sullivan arrived in Cairo after trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and was accompanied by White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk.
During talks, the US and Egypt underscored shared visions on issues including “a return to constitutional order in Tunisia, and support for civilian-led transition in Sudan,” the senior administration official said.
Sisi stressed the importance of sticking to a plan to hold elections in Libya in December, according to Egypt’s presidency.
The planned poll, part of a United Nations-led effort to reunify Libya after years of conflict and division, faces steep challenges.


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