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Palestinians pinning their hopes on Sisi

Egypt wants to advance a regional security coalition that will cooperate with Washington not only in the fight against Iranian-sponsored terror, but also for ending the Israeli occupation.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gives an address after the gunmen attack in Minya, accompanied by leaders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Supreme Council for Police (unseen), at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, May 26, 2017 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX37T68

The Palestinian leadership is placing its main hopes for a two-state solution process on Egypt. While Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is well-aware of the close relationship the Donald Trump administration has with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Ramallah estimates that only Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has the operational capacity to create a pragmatic Arab coalition in coordination with Washington. This coalition would not only work to deter Iran’s nuclear and regional terror ambitions, but will also focus on advancing a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. This was conveyed to Al-Monitor by a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) minister who also deals with security matters and has the ear of Abbas. This minister is also in contact with Egyptian intelligence officials.

Cairo's relations with Ramallah are strained over the situation in the Gaza Strip. Contrary to Abbas, who wants the weakening of Hamas, Egypt wishes to strengthen Gaza economically and politically for the sake of security stability. But despite this disputed issue, Egypt remains the main ally of the Palestinians on statehood and regional strategy issues.

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