Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is expected to hold two important summits on Monday in Cairo as he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amid recent developments in the Middle East.
The most significant developments that President Sisi will discuss with his Russian and Palestinian counterparts are the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the death of Yemeni former President Ali Abdallah Saleh by Iran-backed Houthi militias.
Sisi is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Putin, who visits Egypt upon an official invitation, at El-Ittihadya Palace in Heliopolis, eastern Cairo.
Sisi and Putin will discuss issues of common interest and tackle means of boosting the two countries’ cooperation in various fields, most notably commercial, military and transportation fields.
Both leaders will speak to media outlets in a press conference after their summit, which marks the eighth summit between the two leaders. The first meeting between the two leaders took place in February, 2014, when Sisi was still a defense minister.
President Sisi received a historically valuable gift from Russian President Putin during his visit to Russia in August, 2014. The gift is a model of a Pharaonic funerary boat that Ancient Egyptians used to place in the tomb of the deceased as a symbol of the voyage to the afterlife; according to expert analysis the boat dates back to circa 2100 BC.
It is worth mentioning that the Jerusalem issue will be on the table of discussion between Sisi and Putin.
“We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which includes the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Another summit between Egyptian President Sisi and Palestinian President Abbas is also scheduled to be held on Monday in Cairo to discuss the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
President Sisi made a phone call with Abbas on Sunday, discussing the importance of intensifying the international contacts to show the negative repercussions of Trump’s decision, which contradicts with the international resolutions, according to the Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi.
On Wednesday night, United States’ President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a televised speech from the White House. Trump’s decision was met by a barrage of criticism and condemnations from many Arab and world leaders, while protests took place in Gaza strip, West Bank as well as different parts of the Arab world.
Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the West Bank on Friday; Israeli forces fired tear gas on the protesters, killing two Palestinians and injuring more than 300 others. On Saturday, the Israeli airstrikes killed two other Palestinians and injured dozens, raising the injured toll to 1,114 people, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health on Saturday.
Egypt’s Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb and Pope Tawadros II announced their rejection to meet with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who will visit Egypt on December 20. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced his rejection to meet with Pence, although the White House has warned that rejecting Pence’s meeting could have negative consequences.