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Israeli foreign minister in Egypt for talks on diplomatic ties

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Israeli foreign minister in Egypt for talks on diplomatic ties

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrived in Egypt on Thursday to discuss boosting ties between Israel and Egypt as well as reviewing a months-long ceasefire in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The official said Egypt, which became the first Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with Israel in 1979 often acts as a mediator in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Earlier this year, Cairo brokered a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas, which rules Gaza.

The ceasefire came into effect in May, ending 11 days of fighting with the enclave.

On Thursday, al-Sissi pledged Egyptian efforts to prevent renewed tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis, Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi said.

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The Israeli Foreign Ministry said he discussed with the Egyptian president the Gaza situation and presented to him an “economy for security” plan, addressing the issue of Israeli captives and missing persons there.

He added that they also discussed Iran’s nuclear programme and deepening Egyptian-Israeli cooperation in the fields of economics, energy, agriculture and trade.

Lapid praised Egypt as an “especially important strategic partner for Israel.

“My goal is to strengthen our security, diplomatic and economic relations with Egypt,” he added.

In September, Naftali Bennett became the first Israeli prime minister in 10 years to visit Egypt, where he met with President Abdel-Fattah al-Siss.

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