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Arab League to discuss Palestine and Israeli normalisation


Arab League to discuss Palestine and Israeli normalisation

Screen Shot 2021 02 07 at 10 59 13 AM
Photo: REUTERS/Negeri

At the request of Egypt and Jordan, the Arab League will today convene in a bid to bolster Arab unity and address recent developments related to Palestine.

Today’s meeting appears to be an effort by Egypt—a major ally to both the US and Israel since normalising relations with the latter in 1980—to reassert its regional role as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since November, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has attempted to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, partly in response to the Israel-UAE normalisation deal, which he worries could see the UAE replace Cairo as an interlocutor with Israel.

Meanwhile, Cairo is frustrated with Ankara’s attempts to strengthen its relationship with Palestinian actors, due to its increasingly powerless position within the Arab League. Egypt has since hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in late November and, more recently, has promoted inter-Palestinian peace talks aimed at reconciling Abbas’ Fatah movement and Hamas.

As such, in today’s meeting, expect Egypt to seek the Arab League’s diplomatic support in initiating the next round of Israeli-Palestinian talks, centered around the two-state solution, as well as the Palestinian presidential elections scheduled for July. Since the Biden administration has hinted that it would support this, expect Egypt to successfully convince fellow Arab League members.

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